Donald Trump due to visit Ireland in first week of June
Taoiseach may meet US president at Dromoland Castle between June 5th and 7th
US president Donald Trump with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the White House last March. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The White House has yet to confirm Mr Trump’s visit to Ireland and the president’s schedule may change but sources preparing for his visit said they were making arrangements for a visit to his hotel and golf resort in Doonbeg, Co Clare during the middle of the first week in June.
The Government has received no official confirmation from the White House on a visit yet but officials have been liaising closely with US officials and preparations for Mr Trump’s first Irish visit as US president are understood to have been stepped up by officials in Washington.
Irish officials are exploring the possibility of the Taoiseach meeting Mr Trump at Dromoland Castle in Co Clare while the US president uses Doonbeg as a base for his second half of his European visit.
The 16th century Dromoland Castle was the venue for the June 2004 meeting between then taoiseach Bertie Ahern and US president George W Bush.
A Government spokesman said that it had received “no confirmation as to whether or when he would be visiting” and that it would be up to the White House or the US embassy to confirm the visit.
However, advance teams are expected to descend on the county over the coming weeks to finalise preparations.
The White House is expected to confirm details of the visit shortly.
There has been growing speculation in recent weeks that Mr Trump, who purchased the Doonbeg resort for €15 million in 2014, would add an Irish stop around his visits to the UK and France.
US government “advance teams” have visited Co Clare in preparation for a presidential visit.
Mr Trump is scheduled to make a State visit to the UK from June 3rd to 5th.
One option around an Irish visit may involve Mr Trump travelling to Doonbeg for an overnight stay on June 5th, flying on to Normandy for the World War Two commemorations on June 6th and then returning to Doonbeg again that night before flying out of Shannon Airport to the US on June 7th.
There is still uncertainty, however, around how many nights he might stay in Ireland. He may also return directly to Washington after his engagements in France on June 6th.
The White House cancelled an earlier planned visit to Ireland last November last part of a trip to Europe for the Armistice Day centenary celebrations.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said last month that the Government may only learn of Mr Trump’s imminent arrival on a visit to Ireland “by electronic means” given his use of social media website Twitter to make announcements.
Mr Varadkar has said that there is a standing invitation to the US president to visit Ireland. Mr Trump has hosted the Taoiseach twice at the White House on St Patrick’s Day visits during his time in office.