An Irish government spokesperson announced that President Donald Trump’s visit to Ireland scheduled for November had been canceled, reports the BBC.
The White House has responded with Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying that Trump will travel to Paris in November as already planned, and the White House is still finalizing plans on whether Ireland is included as a stop on that trip, which was originally planned to represent the United States at the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
A trip to Ireland would include a visit to his golf course in Doonbeg the weekend before the commemorations in Paris, fitting in a meeting with the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
The White House said that the visit to Ireland was intended to “renew the deep and historic ties between our two nations” and did not confirm that the trip had been canceled just that it is still being finalized, said the Washington Post.
Vardakar’s office confirmed in a statement that the White House canceled the visit due to scheduling reasons. The trip to Paris is to mark an important event, likely taking up a lot of time, which may make a side trip to Ireland unlikely.
An invite to Ireland was extended to Trump by Varadkar when the two met in March for Washington, D.C.’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Varadkar’s invite followed on from an offer from the previous Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, who invited the president in 2017.
President Trump's visit to Ireland was announced out of the blue and has now been cancelled in the same erratic way. We are glad what could potentially have been avery undignified and divisive event is not now going ahead. #trumpinirelandhttps://t.co/9j2XB5aPQb— Eamon Ryan (@EamonRyan) September 11, 2018
This wouldn’t be the first time Trump abandoned a visit to Ireland, having not visited since 2014 after buying his Doonbeg golf course. Trump originally planned to come to Ireland in 2016 just before the U.S. presidential election but canceled the trip to focus on the campaign.
As has been common with Trump visits overseas, protests had been planned both by non-profit organizations and politicians. Both the Labour Party and the Green Party had expressed displeasure, with the Green Party directly calling for the government to rescind the invitation.
The head of the Green Party, Eamon Ryan, called to mind the protests in Ireland about another Republican president, George W. Bush in 2003, with Ryan calling on Irish people to turn out and protest Trump, according to CNBC.
Trump’s visit to the nearby United Kingdom saw tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets of London. That protest was most notable for a giant balloon which flew over Parliament Square depicting Donald Trump as an angry baby in a diaper.