President Donald Trump met with a handful of schoolchildren while golfing at one of his Ireland courses, and the kids were suitably impressed with their rare opportunity to meet a foreign dignitary, The Irish Examiner reports.
Trump has spent the past couple of days doing the same types of things that all heads of state do when visiting foreign countries, such as meeting with local dignitaries, attending state dinners, and the like. He’s also spent time on the links, including at Doonbeg, a Trump-owned course in rural Ireland.
Trump being in town has been an inconvenience, to put it mildly, to the staff and children at Clohanes National School. So close is the school to where the POTUS is playing golf that security has been ever-present in the lives of the kids and teachers at the school. The kids even had to get security passes just to come to school, says teacher Aideen O’Mahony.
Still, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, as the old saying goes. So the Irish officials charged with protecting Trump came to the school and talked to the kids about their jobs, doing displays, and whatnot. Of course, the kids were most impressed with the dogs and horses that have been pressed into duty for Trump’s visit.
As it turns out, though, school officials were able to pull the right strings to get the kids a chance meeting with Trump.
President Trump meeting the children of Clohanes National School pic.twitter.com/4d9kZvDMQF
— Patrick O' Neill (@Patrick86oneill) June 7, 2019
A hill not far from the school overlooks Doonbeg’s 9th hole. With some good timing, the kids, carrying American flags, hoped to get a chance merely to see the POTUS and wave at him as his entourage came by. And wave he did, to the delight of the kids.
But then Trump did what no one expected: He came over to the kids to talk to them.
“He met them, he shook hands with all of them, he stood for photographs and we sang a verse of [‘My Lovely Rose Of Clare’] for him and he spoke to the children and he was just so pleasant with them.”
He also asked them about their schoolwork and told them to be on their best behavior at school.
For O’Mahony and the kids, Trump exceeded all expectations. She described the kids as being “gobsmacked,” a British English term that means something akin to “stunned.”
Like most presidents of recent decades, Trump has visited with school children before, always at events planned well in advance and not spur-of-the-moment like in this case.