Donald Trump’s election has created widespread shock and alarm in Ireland and among the Irish living here in America this week.
Taking to Twitter and Facebook, prominent Irish commentators expressed their surprise that the real estate mogul secured enough votes to attain the White House.
Irish Labour Party Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin delivered perhaps the most forceful assessment of all this week, however. On a video post on his Facebook page that is quickly going viral, Ó Ríordáin called Trump a fascist who must be resisted.
An estimated 50,000 Irish live in the US undocumented, Ó Ríordáin added, what will be their fate under the threatened anti-immigrant sweeps to come?
In New York, Irish comedian Des Bishop conveyed his shock over the election night results with a rueful tweet:
Boy, it's gonna be a lot harder to argue with my Chinese friends about why Democracy is worth fighting for now.— Des Bishop 毕瀚生 (@Desbishop) November 9, 2016
Irish American filmmaker Alex Gibney saw the stinging irony of the moment.
How bitterly ironic - surrealistic - that a selfish corrupt billionaire becomes the standard bearer for anger over economic unfairness.— Alex Gibney (@alexgibneyfilm) November 9, 2016
Meanwhile Claire O’Connor, staff writer at Forbes, was alarmed by the implications of Trump’s successful election bid:
Every hour or so I remember that the next president has both normalized rape culture and sexual assault *and* vowed to overturn Roe v Wade.— Clare O'Connor (@Clare_OC) November 10, 2016
For Irish students, the J-1 Visa program is an undergraduate rite of passage that allows them to work for a summer in the US, but Trump said in 2015 he would scrap the program which benefitted “foreign youth.”
Fears for Irish students as President-elect Donald Trump could abolish J-1 visa - Sunday… https://t.co/tSCs4VE6dz— Work and Travel USA (@J1WorkTravelUSA) November 11, 2016
Meanwhile actress and Irish American Mia Farrow was thinking about her options, tweeting:
I do have an Irish passport— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) November 9, 2016
So confident were most people in Ireland of a Hillary Clinton win that Irish bookmaker Paddy Power paid out 800,000 euro in winnings to players who had backed her for president three weeks ago.
That confidence turned out to be costly, because those who picked Trump could cost end up costing the bookies an estimated four million euro in payouts.
Toblerones changing, Trump elected, AND it's an international break in the football. Rough week.— Paddy Power (@paddypower) November 9, 2016
In New York film and theater actress Geraldine Hughes was stunned. “It is impossible to imagine but it is now a reality… that he is our President elect,” she told IrishCentral.
“I am an Irish born US Citizen and I am proud voter. Personally it is devastating to imagine what this means for my gay friends, my friends of color and of different races and creeds.
“I am a white woman with health insurance. I got lucky. Those who are scared and frightened today remind me of how I felt as an oppressed Catholics during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
“I was scared every day of my life, that I would be attacked and that I would never get ahead and I would be imprisoned because of who I was, where I lived and what I believed in.”
"So we have to help one another. It is time to mourn, then regroup and then reactivate, take action. Not violent action but a call to engage with local and state representatives who are there to serve us, and not their party. Bombard them with engagement...those of us who are holding our heads in disbelief still have power. Show the next generation that we can get through this together through passion and education and engagement.”
Irish Daily Mail reporter, a recent young journalist of the year, Séan Dunne told IrishCentral that it was Trump’s inexperience in the foreign policy area that was most concerning internationally.
“Trump has been hugely critical of NATO, which has been a cornerstone of American foreign policy for over 60 years. He has said in the past that America can no longer afford to protect countries in Europe - and in Asia - without adequate compensation, which suggests he may withdraw American forces unless they pay up so this is certainly a concern and one to watch.”
The impact of a Trump presidency on Ireland's economy was also a concern, Dunne said.
“Here in Ireland, we already are hearing from one of Donald Trump's top advisors that a “flood of companies” will leave Ireland under the president-elect's planned new tax regime.
“Electing Donald Trump President wasn’t just going to affect America but the ripples will be felt far and wide.”