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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 18°C
# biggest best relationship
"Sincere congratulations" - How on earth will the Irish Government deal with President Trump?
Enda Kenny has condemned Trump’s campaign rhetoric in the past.

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FAR FROM THE minds of Americans at present, you would imagine, is their relationship with Ireland.

It’s sure to be on our minds though. So how is our Government planning to deal with President-elect Trump.

The Government has just issued an official statement on the election, with the Taoiseach offering Trump his “sincere congratulations” on his success.

“Ireland and the United States have enjoyed a very close and warm relationship for many generations and I am confident that under his leadership our bilateral relations will continue to prosper,” he said.

Also, we think today of Hillary Clinton, a friend to Ireland who fought such a tough campaign.We are all acutely conscious of the particular responsibility of the United States for leadership and engagement across the globe in our endeavours to address shared challenges.  I look forward to working with the new administration in the time ahead in the cause of international peace and security.

Kenny says that the Government intends “to work closely with the new administration and newly elected United States Congress to pursue comprehensive immigration reform, an issue that is so important to tens of thousands of Irish people who are making a major contribution to America”.

The Government looks forward to working closely with our new colleagues in the White House. In the meantime, the Government will continue to engage actively and constructively with the administration of President Obama, until he completes his term on 20 January.

“There will be no change!

Junior minister and Independent Alliance TD Finian McGrath meanwhile earlier also spoke briefly on the matter.

“”Well, I’m a democrat, I accept the will of the American people, I have never agreed with Trump, but we have to accept that this is what’s happened and that’s it,” he told

Regarding Trump’s administration and its relationship with Ireland McGrath said:

“The Irish Government will be very pragmatic – there will be no change in the relationship between the Americans and us.”

And if there is, well then we’ll cross that hurdle when we come to it.

Other members of the Oireachtas have kept their counsel for the most part this morning, with two notable exceptions: Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams and independent TD Michael Healy Rae.

“The people of the USA have spoken. Donald Trump has been elected. I congratulate him,” said Adams.

The onus is on the President Elect to represent all the people of the USA and to play a positive and progressive role in world affairs.
The Irish peace process has consistently had the support of both Republican and Democratic administrations on Capitol Hill over the last two decades.
We must ensure that support will continue with the new administration through the next four years.

Healy Rae was a little more contemplative. “We are where we are,” he said of Trump’s victory.

“It is time to congratulate him and to work in conjunction with him for the betterment of society.”

I would hope that President-Elect Trump will value the Irish people for what we are. I wish him well in his endeavours.

“Racist and dangerous”

Way back in May, Enda Kenny was asked about the campaign of Donald Trump, which was bouncing from controversial statement to controversial statement as Trump navigated the Republican primary process.

Under questioning from Fianna Fail’s Micheál Martin and the AAA-PBP’s Richard Boyd Barrett Kenny said:

“If Donald Trump’s comments are racist and dangerous – which they are – there is an alternative to vote for.”

The decision of who would be the next president of the US is a “matter for the American people” he said adding:

The world will have to deal with their decision.

Kenny would not be drawn at the time as to whether or not the Government would continue to allow the US Army the use of Shannon as a stopover for military flights.

During the same Dáil debate Micheál Martin described some of what had been articulated by Trump up to that point as “worrying”. Just last month Martin meanwhile said that Trump’s ascendance to the political top table in the US as “a sad reflection of where we are”.

Last month, Kenny was also drawn briefly to the topic of the US election at a briefing saying the race had been “unedifying in many respects”.

“Obviously the President of the United States is the most powerful political person on the planet and clearly there are implications of a global nature as regards who occupies the White House,” he said at the time.

It’s already clear what the polls say, what the people say will be decided when they vote on the eighth.

He can scarcely have known how right he was.

Read: Putin congratulates Trump, says he wants to ‘improve relations’ between Russia and US

Read: Poll: Do you think Ireland’s relationship with the US will change after Trump’s victory?

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