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Government minister to attend protest against Trump's visit to Ireland

A number of protests will take place during the US President’s visit.

President Donald Trump meeting UK Prime Minister Theresa May today.
President Donald Trump meeting UK Prime Minister Theresa May today.
Image: Yui Mok

Updated Jun 4th 2019, 1:14 PM

DISABILITIES MINISTER FINIAN McGrath has said that he will attend a protest against US President Donald Trump’s visit to Ireland this week.

The independent junior minister said he will be at the demonstration at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin on Thursday because he has “major problems” with Trump’s national and international policies and his attitude to people’s with disabilities.

“I think it’s important we have peaceful democratic protests and people that have different views express those views,” he said.

McGrath made the comments while appearing alongside the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan at Coolock Garda Station in Dublin today. 

Tweet by @Céimin Burke Source: Céimin Burke/Twitter

Minister Flanagan said he respects people’s right to protest but he “won’t be among them”. He added that it is important that the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s meeting with Trump goes ahead uninterrupted.

Gardaí have said they are working with a number of protest groups in order to minimise disruptions at Shannon Airport during the brief visit of the US president to Co Clare.

Trump is due to spend two nights at his Doonbeg resort before returning to Washington on Friday.

Access to Doonbeg is not expected to be affected by the visit with the village to remain open for business as usual. Trump International Golf Links and Hotel is closed to the public from today.

To coincide with the visit, protests by a number of local groups, including Shannonwatch, Extinction Rebellion Clare and Futureproof Clare, will be held at Shannon Airport. They will be supported by anti-war groups, with the main protest taking place at 6pm on Wednesday. 

A ‘peace camp’ will be set up near the airport for the duration of his visit. Organisers of the protests have emphasised that they will be “family friendly”. They said banners, art, music and any forms of peaceful expression are welcome at the peace camp and surrounding area.

“An Garda Siochana is engaging with a number of protest groups who wish to attend over the duration of this visit. 

“Protests will be facilitated and every effort will be made to minimise disruption to the local community and patrons of Shannon Airport,” a garda spokesperson said. 

Gardaí have also advised those travelling to the airport to allow extra travel time for the duration of the Trump’s visit, as additional security measures will be in place on the approach road to the airport and car parks until Friday 7 June.

Additionally, anyone going to the airport is advised to have photo ID, while travellers should have photo ID and valid flight documentation on hand. 

Traffic restrictions 

  • Southbound traffic is diverted along the R483 to Creagh and Cooraclare and into Kilrush.
  • Northbound traffic from Kilrush is diverted On the R483 to Cooraclare, Creagh, Quilty and Miltown Malbay.
  • Temporary rolling road closures, to facilitate security and vip escorts over the course of the 5 – 7 June 2019, on the following routes: M18, N18, N19, N85, N68, N67 also through Ennis and the environs of Limerick City.

While Trump will not be visiting Dublin, there are a number of protests planned in the capital over the coming days.  

The Peace and Neutrality Alliance and Venezuela Ireland Network will hold a vigil outside the US Embassy in Ballsbridge on Wednesday at 6pm. The Green Party will host the main ‘Stop Trump Ireland’ event on Thursday evening outside the GPO.

With reporting from Michelle Hennessey and Céimin Burke

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