President Donald Trump has reportedly canceled his November trip to Ireland, sources say, amid a flurry of protests that have been scheduled ahead of his visit.
BREAKING: Donald Trump, the US President, has cancelled next month's planned visit to Ireland,… https://t.co/hpSY3DXwZA— Independent.ie (@Independent.ie) 1536677910.0
The Irish Independent reported on Tuesday that the cancellation of the trip, which had been scheduled for November 12, "will come as a massive relief to the Government."
"Trump was planning to spend one day in Dublin," writes the Independent, "before traveling to Doonbeg, Co Clare where he owns a golf link."
I've just confirmed reports that President Trump's trip to Ireland, scheduled for mid-November, has been canceled.— Niall Stanage (@Niall Stanage) 1536679625.0
The president had planned on stopping over in Ireland on his way back from honoring Armistice Day, the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I, in France. November 11 is recognized as Veteran's Day in the United States.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in a statement that the abrupt change in Trump's schedule caught him off-guard and that the invitation for Trump to visit Ireland remains open.
"There is an open invitation to the US president to visit Ireland at any time, I think they’ve all visited since Reagan, if not before and obviously there’s an open invitation for me, or any future Taoiseach [prime minister], to attend Washington in March," Varadkar said. "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."
A spokesperson for Varadkar said representatives for Trump "cited scheduling reasons" for canceling the trip.
"We've got to work out 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 be inaugurating our own President on the 11th of November," the spokesman added. "And also will have to make sure that we have enough time and space to commemorate the Armistice because bear in mind hundreds of thousands of Irish people, including a lot of people from this city, fought in the first world war. We need to make sure that's appropriate and fits around that as well."
As of Tuesday afternoon, American officials have not cited any specific reasons for the change in the president's schedule.
"The president will travel to Paris in November as previously announced,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. "We are still finalizing whether Ireland will be a stop on that trip. As details are confirmed we will let you know."
Some Irish political parties, such as the Labor and Green parties, said they had been planning protests should Trump choose to visit their country.
Cancellation of Trump's November visit to Ireland is "a bullet dodged for sure," an Irish diplomatic source familia… https://t.co/1W4ejdgLzH— Jim Acosta (@Jim Acosta) 1536689954.0
Last week, Labor Party leader Brendan Howlen tweeted that Trump is "no friend of democracy and human rights" and encouraged Irish citizens to protest Trump's stopover, should it occur.
I’ll be on Déise Today on @wlrfm just after 10 to chat about #TrumpInIreland. @labour’s position is clear, Trump an… https://t.co/UnJ9pjItIO— Brendan Howlin (@Brendan Howlin) 1536050907.0
Scores of people in Ireland took the Twitter to share their thoughts - and it sure does seem like they don't want Trump to visit.
"Hope he never visits."
"The luck of the Irish."
@Independent_ie @Hepworthclare The luck of the Irish.— Paul Thatcher (@Paul Thatcher) 1536680474.0
@Independent_ie Ireland thanks the Universe!— Catherine Sykes (@Catherine Sykes) 1536679289.0
A monument built to honor Barack and Michelle Obama probably wouldn't help matters either.
@Independent_ie Probably when he found out about this place? https://t.co/Xpb5o8lxLp— James Gill (@James Gill) 1536690362.0
@Independent_ie @Hepworthclare Lucky Ireland.— Graham Jones #JustVoteLabour (@Graham Jones #JustVoteLabour) 1536679127.0
@Independent_ie https://t.co/zlDmX2AKAq— Irish Flyer (@Irish Flyer) 1536681046.0
"There will be a big sigh of relief in the Taoiseach's office and Iveagh House, and an even bigger sigh of relief in Garda headquarters," said Noel Whelan, a political commentator. "It would have been a security nightmare, dealing with large and colorful protests, and I know that they were hoping to confine most of his visit to the midwest to keep him away from the crowds."
Irish officials were surprised to learn President Trump planned to stop by Ireland in November. Then they were surp… https://t.co/nDFrZXSev2— The New York Times (@The New York Times) 1536692418.0
The Prime Minister, however, said if Trump chooses to visit, he is welcome to do so, notes Peter Baker of the New York Times.
"The relationship between Ireland and the U.S. is so strong and so important, much more important than any Irish government or any U.S. administration," he said. "I think we have to treat his office with the respect it deserves."