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Could be Doonbeg or bust for Trump

President Trump. White House photo.


By Irish Echo Staff

First it was Ireland or Scotland during the president’s early June trip to Europe.

Then it looked like Ireland.

Now it might not be Ireland because of an apparent standoff: Doonbeg or Dromoland?

The Irish Times was reporting today that disagreement over the location of a possible meeting between President Donald Trump and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has thrown a potential visit to County Clare by the president into doubt.

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The Trump administration, according to the report, had been considering a visit to Ireland between the president’s trips to Britain and France in June.

“But disagreement has emerged over protocol issues.”

Added the Times report: “While the taoiseach’s preference is to meet Mr. Trump in Co Clare, Irish officials are reluctant to meet the U.S. president in his golf course in Doonbeg. Instead, the Government has pressed for a meeting in another location, preferably Dromoland Castle, located 50km away.”

Dromoland Castle is also in County Clare.

Continued the Times report: “One White House source told The Irish Times on Thursday that the president was now favoring a visit to Scotland rather than Ireland during his European trip. But sources in Dublin on Thursday said they believed the Irish visit would still go ahead.

Thus far, the details of an Irish visit have not been revealed, though Ireland has been reportedly visited by U.S. officials and members of the Secret Service in anticipation of a Trump touchdown on Irish soil.

And perhaps two touchdowns, one before and one after the planned state visit to Britain and visit to France for D-Day 75th anniversary ceremonies.

Stated the Times report: “The unique nature of a potential visit – a US president visiting his own private property in Ireland – has thrown up complex issues around protocol, and whether it constitutes a private or official visit.

“While a trip to Scotland would not involve the president engaging in official activities, given that he will have already met the British prime minister and Queen Elizabeth during his state visit to Britain, a visit to Ireland would necessitate some formal engagement with the Government.”

President Trump has an open invitation to visit Ireland and indicated during his meeting with Leo Varadkar at the White House in March that he would visit at some point this year.

A visit nearly took shape last year, set for November, but in the end it did not materialize.