Donald Trump cancels trip to Ireland

Donald Trump has reportedly cancelled a planned trip to Ireland less than two weeks after it was announced by the White House. 

The US president had been due to visit on November 12 to “renew the deep and historic ties between our two nations" as part of a wider trip to Europe.

The Irish government appeared to be taken by surprise by the cancellation, first reported by the Irish Independent, but later confirmed to the paper that the trip was "postponed due to scheduling reasons".

Mr Trump owns a golf course in Ireland – the Trump International Golf Links at Doonbeg – and has often talked fondly about the country. 

Mr Trump hosted the Irish Taoiseach and sported a green tie to celebrate St Patrick’s Day last year, following a tradition started by his predecessors.  

He had been due to spend a day in Dublin before travelling to his golf resort on his way back from attending commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War in France.  

The White House said on Tuesday final arrangements for Mr Trump’s European trip were still under review, but it is understood the Dublin portion has been removed from the schedule.

Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said: "The president will travel to Paris in November as previously announced. We are still finalising whether Ireland will be a stop on that trip. As details are confirmed we will let you know."

Irish officials were also taken by surprise when the White House announced his trip on August 31, with Leo Varadkar, the Irish Taoiseach, admitting the announcement "came a little out of the blue".

He told Irish radio station RTE on September 2: "There is an open invitation to the US President to visit Ireland at any time.

"We hadn’t known until just a couple of days ago that he was going to take the opportunity of his visit to Paris for the Armistice commemorations, commemorating a hundred years of the end of the First World War, to visit Dublin, and also he’s going to go to Doonbeg too.

"We’ve got to work on a programme and all the rest of it but I think any programme we will have will have to respect the fact that we will inaugurating our own President on the 11th of November."

The  Taoiseach’s spokesperson was unable to confirm that the trip had been cancelled when reports broke earlier on Tuesday. 

His office later said it was still possible Mr Trump will take up Mr Varadkar’s invitation at a future date, but confirmed November’s trip will not be happening.

The delay in the president’s visit may come as a relief, with several Irish political parties suggesting they would stage protests which could present a diplomatic dilemma for the government.

Mr Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama enjoyed a trip to the country in 2011. During his four-day visit he poured a pint of Guinness and at one point told the crowds: “I’m Barack Obama, from the Moneygall Obamas.” 

Mr Trump talked about his relationship with Mr Varadkar, the Irish leader, when the pair together commemorated St Patrick’s Day last March in Washington DC.  

Mr Trump joked to the Irish prime minister: "I look forward to seeing you often. Whenever you got a problem, we’ll solve it – except for trade." 

He went on: “They got those taxes so low [in Ireland]. You’re a tough one to compete with, with the taxes." 

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