Campaigners urge protesters to come out for Donald Trump visit

‘He needs to understand that ordinary, decent people are horrified by his world view’

More than 30 civil society organisations, NGOs, student groups and political parties have called on people to take to the streets this week to protest against US president Donald Trump’s visit.

Representatives from the Green Party, People Before Profit, Uplift, United Against Racism, Extinction Rebellion and Dún Laoghaire Together for Choice and Equality gathered outside Leinster House on Monday to launch the Stop Trump series of protests, which are scheduled to take place around the country in the coming days.

The biggest of these demonstrations will take place in Dublin on Thursday, June 6th, at the Garden of Remembrance starting at 6pm.

The Dublin protest will include the six-metre high orange Trump baby blimp which is on loan from its “babysitters” in London. The crybaby inflatable was the focal point of demonstrations against Mr Trump in London in July last year.


Protests are also set to take place in Cork, Galway, Ennis and Sligo while a peace camp and protest will also be held at Shannon Airport on Wednesday evening.

Green Party

Speaking outside the Dáil, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said "respectful, peaceful but forceful and strong" protest was needed to send a message to the US president that most Irish people do not agree with his policies.

“I think fundamentally most Irish people disagree with the course he’s taking the world. His disregard for climate change affects us all; his breaking down of long established global rules around how we cooperate affects us all; his treatment of refugees in other countries, do we just ignore that? Do we just say business is more important than that and stay silent? No.”

Not turning up to protests will be interpreted by Mr Trump as a warm welcome from the Irish people, added Mr Ryan. “If we don’t protest he can use that message and that wouldn’t be right.”

People Before Profit's Richard Boyd Barrett agreed that demonstrations play a key role in rejecting Mr Trump's "divisive and dangerous" politics.

“He’s promoting climate sabotage, war, division, greed, hate and these are toxic ingredients we don’t need in this country,” the Dún Laoghaire TD said.

The US president’s far-right views are becoming increasingly “normalised”, warned Mr Boyd Barrett. “It’s critical we have a huge showing of opposition to what Trump represents... otherwise we are facing into the dark, horrendous politics of the 30s and 40s that cost humanity very dearly.”

‘Decent people’

Mr Trump should not just experience the “red carpet welcome” he will get from political and business circles, Memet Uludag from United Against Racism said. “He needs to understand that ordinary, decent people are horrified by his world view and want to have a different future not just for ourselves but for our children.”

Commenting on preparations being made in Doonbeg, Co Clare, for the president's visit, Ruth O'Connor from Dún Laoghaire Together for Choice and Equality called on local residents to remember "the bigger picture" and the "ethics and morality behind the man".

“We need to remember the shock responses he keeps having. He could decide to pull out of Doonbeg tomorrow because he doesn’t like the weather,” she sid.

“We do not oppose the position of the US president but we oppose the man behind it because he is unstable.”

The Irish Aviation Authority said that anyone seeking to fly something over the city must secure its permission beforehand. A spokesman for the authority said that it was not permitted to say whether an application had been received or whether it had granted approval for the Trump baby blimp to be flown.

An Garda Síochána said that it would consult with the IAA and Dublin City Council to determine whether the blimp raised any public safety concerns. The council said it would be a matter for the IAA.

A spokeswoman for Uplift said they had spoken with Dublin City Council about airspace rules but that no objections had been raised. Uplift has also notified the gardai and checked the IAA rules and does not anticipate any problems, she added.

The US president is scheduled to arrive into Shannon airport late on Wednesday afternoon where he will use his Doonbeg golf resort as a base during the second half of his trip to Europe.

He will spend the night at the resort before flying to France on Thursday to attend ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

Mr Trump is expected to return to Ireland that night and play a round of golf on Friday before leaving for the United States.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast