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Leo says Trump doesn't have the skill set to bring stability to Northern Ireland

The Taoiseach said he will not be seeking out Donald Trump’s advice when it comes to the political stalemate in the North.

Image: Nick Ansell

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump does not have the skill set to bring peace to Northern Ireland, according to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Indicating that he would not be seeking the president’s assistance in ending the ongoing political stalemate in Northern Ireland, Varadkar told reporters:

“While President Trump has many enormous talents and abilities, I don’t think bringing about peace in Northern Ireland would be his skill set. But certainly we are always open to assistance from the US.”

There is a history of US presidents assisting peace talks in Northern Ireland, most notably, former president Bill Clinton.

However, during a recent press conference, the Taoiseach was asked if there was any advice in Trump’s book, the Art of the Deal, that might be of use with the impasse in re-establishing the Northern Ireland Executive.

The 1987 book is part memoir and part business-advice book, which helped make Trump a household name.

The Taoiseach said he has read Trump’s book, but added that the experiences laid out in the book would be of no use in getting the institutions back up and running.

“I have read the Art of the Deal and the basic concept behind that is a good deal is when I win and you lose. That’s not the kind of deal that is going to work in Northern Ireland,” he said.

United Ireland

Talks are to resume shortly between parties in a fresh bid to get Stormont governing again. However, before Christmas, mentions of a united Ireland, most notably from Tánaiste Simon Coveney, angered members of the DUP.

Varadkar told reporters he aspires to see a united Ireland but only on the basis of consent, as set down in the Good Friday Agreement.

“And that is the way I would envision it. I very much follow the school of thought of the great John Hume who talked less about a united Ireland and more about an agreed Ireland. And a set of relationships that we can all be happy with. That is the way it should be.”

While the Taoiseach has no interest in Trump’s advice when it come to Northern Ireland, Varadkar said he does have issues he wants to discuss with the president.

Varadkar is due to visit the White House for St Patrick’s Day in March, where he plans to raise a number of matters:

What I would like to talk to him about in March is the appointment of a US ambassador. We have an acting ambassador at the moment, a very good one.
But obviously we would like to see a full-time ambassador in Ireland. That’s one of the things that is certainly going to be on the agenda for March if it is not already resolved by then.

Read: Halligan has another space and alien life themed Christmas card this year>

Read: Taoiseach raised Trump’s ‘fake news’ Irish corporate tax comment with acting US ambassador>

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