Sources say that US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Ireland the first week of September
"Tentative plans" for US Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Ireland in September are being laid out, according to reports.
In July, a spokesperson for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said: “The US Vice President has indicated his wish to visit Ireland this year.”
The spokesperson added: “While the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has had contact with the US administration on the proposed visit, it remains unconfirmed.”
While Pence's visit remains officially unconfirmed, Extra.ie reports this week: “A number of locations in Dublin, Cork, and Clare have been checked out ahead of the trip, which is expected to include at least one overnight stay.”
“Gardai [Irish police] are making ‘tentative plans’ for the arrival of US vice president Mike Pence – but ‘a full security plan’ will not be in place until the visit is officially confirmed by the US authorities. Sources say that the Army will position anti-aircraft missiles within the perimeter of either Dublin or Shannon Airport to counter any potential attacks to Air Force Two.”
“Gardaí have not yet been informed which airport Mr. Pence will fly into. However, it is understood that several thousand gardaí are on standby to police the proposed visit, as are the Defence Forces.”
“An Garda Síochána [Ireland's National Police Service] is preparing to liaise with the UK police to establish if ‘anarchists and criminals with a potential to try to attack the vice president’ will travel here to protest.”
Will Mike Pence visit Doonbeg?
There are no apparent plans for Vice President Pence to visit President Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg, Co Clare, where the President himself visited in June.
However, Pence could be visiting the village of Doonbeg for a stop at Morrissey’s Restaurant as it’s owned by his distant cousin Hugh McNally. Pence previously made a trip to Doonbeg in a personal capacity in 2013.
President Trump’s sons visited Morrissey’s during their father’s official visit in June:
Of Pence’s potential visit, McNally told Extra.ie: “We’d be absolutely delighted to see him again, he has been a regular visitor and we are in regular contact with the family.”
Mike Pence's Irish roots
Aside from cousins in Doonbeg, Co Clare, Vice President Pence has Irish roots in Co Sligo. In 1923, his mother's father emigrated to the US through Ellis Island from his home in Tubbercurry, Co Sligo.
Pence made reference to his Irish grandfather on the 4th of July this year in a tweet:
On April 11, 1923 an Irish immigrant named Richard Michael Cawley stepped onto Ellis Island and began our family’s story in America. Because he had the courage and faith in America that is displayed in all of you, that’s how Michael Richard Pence became Vice President of the US. pic.twitter.com/bIcCwAZJRB— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) July 4, 2019
In March, the Vice President's Irish roots were discussed when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was hosted by Pence at his Washington, DC residence for a breakfast during the Irish premier's St. Patrick's Day visit:
Honored to welcome the Taoiseach of Ireland Leo Varadkar to the Vice President’s residence for breakfast this morning to begin St. Patrick’s Day weekend. pic.twitter.com/igii8oQbWQ— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) March 14, 2019
During that meeting, Vice President Pence said: "Thank you also for the invitation to make an official visit to Ireland.”
“You did say the one condition was that I had to bring my mother.”
“And I am happy to report to Taoiseach Varadkar that I have spoken to mom – a first-generation Irish-American – and she has now confirmed that she would travel with me to Ireland and we are making plans to return to my grandfather’s homestead.”
Are you looking forward to seeing the US Vice President visit Ireland next month? Let us know in the comments!