* This article was penned before Donald Trump's sudden cancelled his planned trip to Ireland.
The lovely lady I call the Dutch Nation is always encouraging me to leave the west for at least a long weekend each summer and enjoy the pleasures of her European mainland.
She has great difficulty on that front because I argue that I have never ever been anywhere on earth which is as entrancing as the west of Ireland when it stops raining. She usually gives up in despair.
We have been enjoying a brilliant heatwave in Ireland for the while at a time when Europe, including the Netherlands and Germany, have been lashed by fierce storms, especially floods which have drowned many in Germany, flooded the center of Paris and caused mayhem.
Before that began Annet had been talking about a weekend in Portugal towards the end of June and I had been resisting. Every Clare day was brighter and more beautiful than the one before it, and she had given up last weekend when I totally surprised her by saying, “Yes, please, I am stone mad to get out of Clare and over to Portugal -- or anywhere else -- for the tail end of June.”
What happened, you see, is that there was a news flash on TV that Donald Trump was due to visit his golf resort in West Clare about June 25 and, with brutal honesty, I don't want to be here during the days when he is visiting his gingery presence upon us.
Just before the news broke about his impending arrival I had, for example, been watching a televised interview in which he was attacking a judge involved in his "university case" for, fundamentally, being a Mexican and proud of it and, accordingly, by Trumpian standards bound to show bias against him.
There was a lot of abuse of Hillary Clinton thrown into the interview as well of course. Par for the course. The man is shockingly amazing.
For what it is worth, there are certain to be protests against his visit. I fervently hope that these will be a lot more restrained than he is, and trust this will be the case.
Your Vice President Joe Biden will be here at the same time and the veep will get the full state treatment while Trump, by all accounts, will get merely the kind of welcome which billionaires like him get because they have created employment opportunities in the village of Doonbeg. That is right and fitting.
The man is the main employer in Doonbeg through his golf resort. For that reason, knowing upon which side their bread is buttered, the locals will give him a failte. Our Debbie was in Doonbeg a couple of weekends ago, and as you’ll remember she reported this fact in last week’s Irish Voice lead story.
It will, underneath the veneer, be the same kind of welcome which the folk of the past gave to the Big House gentry who, for their own ends, provided employment for local men and women who otherwise would have had to either emigrate or migrate.
I have covered thousands of protests in my time as a hack. I have never taken active individual part in even one.
If the Dutch Nation does not get me out of Ireland before Trump arrives I will break that habit for sure and turn out along with those expressing what is now an international view about the activities of a man who, to twist a sentence a bit, is making America grate against the sensitivities and indeed fears of the rest of us.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny is a canny wordsmith who has been a long time on the political road. He will be nowhere close to Shannon when Trump lands, and neither will any significant member of the government.
It was interesting in the recent Dail exchanges to hear Kenny not alone criticizing the Boss of Doonbeg, but also stressing that the American people had an alternative candidate to vote for in just a few months. He made his point.
Finally my daughter Ciara, who is a travel agent, telephoned a little while ago to say that she had booked the holiday in Portugal for Annet and I for the relevant period.
Ciara, though, has a wicked enough sense of humor. She said she had booked for us a hotel in the Sintra resort near Lisbon. She added that she had not checked out if that hotel was another of Trump's properties.
She said I should maybe do that myself. I will too!