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Taoiseach says Trump could visit Ireland as early as June

Yesterday in the Oval Office, Trump has said that he hopes to visit Ireland this year.

Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has said the US President Donald Trump could visit Ireland as early as June. 

Speaking to reporters in Chicago, on the second leg of his St Patrick’s Day trip to the US, Varadkar said that Trump did not tell him any specific date in which he might visit. 

However, he said Trump is due to visit Europe twice in the next year – in June and December – adding that it would make sense for Trump to tag a visit to Ireland at the end of one of those trips. 

He added that no firm details had been discussed with Irish officials as of yet. 

Trump is expected to attend the D-day commemorations in Normandy in June and the annual NATO summit in December. 

Yesterday in the Oval Office, Trump has said that he hopes to visit Ireland this year. 

Describing Ireland as a special place, Trump referenced his golf resort at Doonbeg in Co Clare.

“I have a very warm spot for Doonbeg, I will tell you that. And, it’s just a great place,” he said.

The US leader made similar comments during last year’s sit down in Washington DC.

Last November, Trump was due to visit Clare and Dublin. 

In September, the status of the visit was the source of much confusion with the Irish government and the White House offering different answers as to whether it would go ahead.

Some clarity was finally provided when the White House informed the Irish ambassador in the US that the November trip had been cancelled for “scheduling reasons”. 

The cancellation blindsided the government, which scrambled to find details from their US counterparts as to whether the trip was postponed or cancelled.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach made international headlines when he attended a breakfast meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence with his partner, Matt Barrett. 

In his speech, he said as leader of Ireland, he is judged on his political record, and not his sexual orientation. 

Pence has been criticised in the past for his stance on LGBT issues. During last year’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations, Pence extended the invite to Barrett for this year. 

When asked this evening about whether Pence and Varadkar had discussed the speech, the Taoiseach said:

“We didn’t really discuss the speech but we had a good chat afterwards on different issues and I had the chance to meet him again in the White House.

“I met his brother who was recently elected to congress and his sister too.

“They are very nice people and certainly have made me feel welcome when I have been in DC. Obviously we have very different views on social policy but I think the best way to manage these things is to engage with people rather than boycotting them and that’s what I intend to do.”

Earlier today, First Lady Melania Trump tweeted out some photos from yesterday’s events, which included a photo with Trump, Varadkar and Barrett.

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