Massive protests are being planned by Irish left-wing groups during Donald Trump’s visit to Ireland, to his Doonbeg golf resort near Shannon Airport in Clare on either June 24th or 25th.
Thousands are expected to take part say organizers and they are already inundated with requests for information.
The reception promises to be much different to Trump’s last visit to Ireland two years ago after he announced he was buying Doonbeg for $15 million. A harpist, singers and leading politicians including Finance Minister Michael Noonan greeted him on arrival in his private jet and rolled out a red carpet.
But those days are over. Irish leader Enda Kenny recently called Trump’s comments on immigrants “racist and dangerous” and it looks like there will be no official minister from the Irish government to greet him.
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, a Labour senator and former junior minister for culture and equality in the previous Irish government told the Sunday Times Irish edition that “it should be made quite clear he’s not welcome in Ireland.”
“Donald Trump has advocated policies that, were he elected, would make his country a serious threat to international peace and security,” Ó Ríordáin said. “That concerns us all and we are entitled to make it known. Citizen Trump holds no elected office in the United States. To extend diplomatic courtesies would be not only unnecessary but inappropriate.”
Darragh O’Brien, foreign affairs spokesman for Fianna Fail, the largest opposition party, agreed with O'Riordan. “I don’t think the government should be involved at all,” he said. “The policies he has been espousing and comments he has been making about women and immigrants have been outrageous.”
Richard Boyd Barrett, from the far left People Before Profit grouping said major plans were underway.
“From the anti-war movement, to anti-racism campaigns, to women’s rights organizations, so many groups of people are opposed to Trump’s politics that I think we are going to have a very broad protest,” he said. “We have a lot of meetings set up for next week already.”
Also organizing is United Against Racism,, which is to hold a rally in County Clare and has reported over 500 signing up on Facebook in just a few hours.
“I don’t think that’s because we’re great at organizing protests, but because [Trump] has managed to offend so many people with his sexist and racist remarks,” Memet Uludag, a founder of the group told the Sunday Times.
The Green Party has sent out a call for others to show up in solidarity.
“Let’s show the world how we feel about Mr Trump’s views,” said Eamon Ryan, the Green leader.
The Irish government has stayed aloof at present stating: “Mr. Trump, like every tourist, will be more than welcome to Ireland and we hope he has a pleasant stay,” it said.
Fine Gael insiders believe Kenny after his remarks is in a difficult situation on whether to meet him or not.
“What does Enda say if he meets him?” one asked. “He can’t be all nicey-nice, after what he said in the Dail, because he’d look like a hypocrite, and he’d be accused of endorsing his campaign. But he also can’t be antagonistic. Who wants to pick a fight with the next American president, especially if that person is as mad as Donald Trump?”
Ironically Vice President Joe Biden will be visiting Ireland at the same time as Trump on a previously planned trip to research his roots.