Mike Pence to stay at Trump’s Doonbeg resort during Irish visit

Tánaiste to accompany US vice-president on visit to Cliffs of Moher during two-day visit

US vice-president Mike Pence: confirmed that he would be meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, President Michael D Higgins and Tánaiste Simon Coveney ‘while celebrating my Irish roots’.  Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA

US vice-president Mike Pence: confirmed that he would be meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, President Michael D Higgins and Tánaiste Simon Coveney ‘while celebrating my Irish roots’. Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA

 

Plans are being made for US vice-president Mike Pence to stay at president Donald Trump’s family golf resort at Doonbeg in Co Clare when he visits Ireland next month.

No arrangements have yet been confirmed, but planners working on Mr Pence’s itinerary say it was increasingly likely that he would stay at the west Clare resort – which Mr Trump purchased two years before becoming US president – on the night of Friday September 6th during his two-day visit.

His stay at Doonbeg comes just three months after Mr Trump stayed at the resort on a visit to Europe, making advance security arrangements for a second high-profile visit more straightforward to organise.

A spokesman for Mr Trump’s resort said that Mr Pence’s stay had not been fully confirmed yet.

The resort is near full occupancy on the weekend of the visit, with guests staying for a large conference at the time. Any remaining available accommodation is being held for the US vice-president and his entourage.

The Trump administration has been criticised at home in the US for the use of properties owned by the Trump family for official US government business.

Statements

Mr Pence will begin his Irish visit – his first official trip to Ireland as US vice-president – in Dublin, meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Farmleigh followed by the two men making statements to the media.

A source familiar with planning for the visit said that the vice-president would then attend a meeting with representatives of Irish-American businesses at the residence of US ambassador Edward Crawford in the Phoenix Park before meeting President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin.

He will fly on to Shannon later on September 6th.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney is expected to accompany Mr Pence on a visit to the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare on the second day of his Irish visit.

The politician first visited Ireland in the 1980s and worked for the summer behind the bar at Morrissey’s

A spokesman for Mr Coveney said the details of the vice-president’s visit were “a matter for his office and the US embassy to confirm”.

The former member of the US congress and the one-time governor of Indiana tweeted last week that Ireland was a “country that is very near to my family’s heart” and confirmed that he would be meeting Mr Varadkar, Mr Higgins and Mr Coveney “while celebrating my Irish roots”.

Distant cousin

Mr Pence, whose relatives emigrated to the US from counties Clare and Sligo, is expected to dine at Morrissey’s, the restaurant run by his distant cousin Hugh McNally, when he visits the Co Clare village.

The politician first visited Ireland in the 1980s and worked for the summer behind the bar at Morrissey’s and on the farm of a distant relative near the village. He has been a regular visitor with his family since then.

Mr Pence will travel first to Iceland and the United Kingdom before his arrival in Ireland. Brexit and immigration are likely to be among the topics up for discussion during his meetings in Ireland.

Mr Pence’s grandfather Richard Michael Cawley left Ireland in the 1920s, emigrating to the US through Ellis Island before eventually settling in Chicago. He has regularly mentioned Cawley in speeches. Cawley’s Irish-American wife hailed from Doonbeg.