Donald Trump was invited to North by Foster and McGuinness
Michelle O’Neill says actions of Trump since taking office means such an invitation would not now be appropriate
Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster: their congratulatory letter told Mr Trump “you can be assured of a warm welcome” to the North. Photograph: Reuters
An invitation extended to US president Donald Trump to visit Northern Ireland by the outgoing Stormont administration is no longer appropriate, the new Northern Sinn Féin leader has said.
The invitation was included in a congratulatory letter sent by former first minister Arlene Foster and deputy first minister Martin McGuinness on November 9th before the power-sharing institutions collapsed.
It told Mr Trump “you can be assured of a warm welcome” to Northern Ireland.
However, Michelle O’Neill, who has since succeeded Mr McGuinness as Sinn Féin’s leader in the North, said the actions of Mr Trump since taking office meant that such an invitation would not now be appropriate.
“If I was in the executive office at this time I wouldn’t issue an invitation, and I’m confident that Martin McGuinness wouldn’t either,” she said last night.
“Since taking office President Trump has pursued policies on immigration and the banning of refugees that run counter to international standards and decency. I believe these are wrong, and should not be imposed at Irish airports.”
In a statement on Thursday, Amnesty International said it would mobilise mass protests to give Mr Trump “the welcome he deserves”.
The letter sent to Mr Trump, obtained by the Impartial Reporter newspaper, says: “We are a small region but we are fortunate to have strong historical, economic and political ties to the United States. Some of those links predate the War of Independence, and we can boast that no fewer than seventeen of your predecessors had Scots-Irish heritage.
“We are proud to say that the United States is our largest inward investor, and we believe that our relationship has proved mutually beneficial for both your great country and our small but dynamic region.”