Donald Trump event in Trinity’s Pav draws just five supporters

Amid general student ambivalence in the college bar, a very small group celebrated

Trinity College: event in the Pav to celebrate  the inauguration of Donald Trump was attended by just five people. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Trinity College: event in the Pav to celebrate the inauguration of Donald Trump was attended by just five people. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

The celebrations marking Donald Trump’s inauguration included an event in the Pavilion Bar in Trinity College Dublin.

Argentine-Irishman Augustin Tomas O’Brien Caceres (40) set up the “Donald Trump in Ireland” Facebook page six months ago. The Pavilion Bar, known to students as the Pav, with its echoes of old-style colonial grandeur overlooking the cricket pitch, was chosen for the inauguration day event because of its central location.

The television was turned up just as Trump was about to be sworn in. There were a few perfunctory boos before students returned to drinking and talking. Indifference rather than anger was the dominant emotion as Trump delivered his inauguration speech.

Caceres arrived five minutes before the appointed time of 5pm. He scanned the room anxiously. Where were the other Trump supporters? What would they even look like? Would he be the only Trump supporter ?

There they were in the corner, four others, all male, three of them wearing Make America Great Again baseball caps.

Before setting up a food export business in Swords last year, Caceres, who is from Rosario in central Argentina, lived in Florida for six years. He believes Trump is the right man to solve America’s problems. “He says the thing that he thinks.”

Derek Long (29) from Limerick said Trump was, in many ways, a “joke that went too far”, but was still a preferable candidate to Hillary Clinton. He had been alarmed by her “Russophobic” inclinations.

‘South Park’ fan

Trinity history student Alex Lee (25) was wearing an Iron Maiden teeshirt with his Trump baseball cap. “I grew up watching South Park and listening to Eminem. Offensive humour is my thing.”

He said he found Trinity students surprisingly tolerant when he wore his cap around the campus. “There’s no negative reaction. Anybody who comes up to you engages in meaningful conversation. People in Trinity are open to discussion.”

Another Trinity student, Richard Spencer (23), said Trump’s election was a reaction to the liberal left who had gone too far: “I like Trump because he is everything that the left hates.”

He shares a name with another Richard Spencer, a Trump acolyte who spoke at a rally at which supporters gave the Nazi salute. “I don’t consider myself alt-right, I consider myself Tory,” said the Irish Richard Spencer. “There are many spectrums of conservative, but the media likes to state that all conservatives are alt-right. Conservatives get a really bad rap in the media. I don’t read the newspapers or The Irish Times any more.”

He whipped out his mobile phone, which has as its screensaver a picture of Trump dressed up as Napoleon. “Every time you say conservatives are racist, homophobic, xenophobic, all you are doing is making more people conservative. I’m happy to see those articles for those reasons.”

Frank Haughton from Dublin, who made up the quintet, said Trump “cuts through the bullshit of politics. He opened debate to the working classes.”

Undeterred by the small turnout, Caceres anticipates Trump will be a success. “I will have 100,000 followers by the end of the year.”