Enda Kenny urged to boycott St Patrick’s Day Trump meeting

Calls for large turnout at Dublin protest to coincide with US presidential inauguration

Ruth Coppinger said tens of thousands of people in America would protest against Donald Trump’s “racism, sexism, anti-woman and anti-worker policies”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been urged to boycott the traditional St Patrick's Day ceremony at the White House in protest against Donald Trump's policies.

Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit held a press conference in Dublin on Monday to announce a protest at the Central Bank plaza in Dublin next Friday evening to coincide with Mr Trump's inauguration as US president.

AAA-PBP TD Richard Boyd Barrett said Mr Kenny should follow up on his "absolutely accurate statement'' last year that the US president-elect was dangerous and racist.

"He should not go to Washington and essentially play the stage Irishman and legitimise what Donald Trump represents,'' Mr Boyd Barrett added.


“It would be a very powerful statement to say he would not offer a symbolic gesture of friendship when Trump has set out such a dangerous and divisive agenda.’’

Mr Boyd Barrett said the State would have to have “business type’’ meetings with the Trump administration after his inauguration.

Mr Boyd Barrett said Mr Trump was not an anti-establishment figure. “He is the vile face of the most right-wing part of the political establishment,’’ he added.


Party colleague Ruth Coppinger TD said it would be interesting to see whether parties such as Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin would participate in the St Patrick's Day "charade''.

Ms Coppinger said the inauguration would be the focal point of protest for tens of thousands of people in America.

“They will be protesting against his racism, sexism, anti-woman and anti-worker policies,’’ she added.

At the press conference, Rita Harrold of Reproductive Rights Against Oppression, Sexism (ROSA) said Mr Trump's election had emboldened anti-choice and anti-women groups across the US.

“Women are not taking this threat lying down and have organised a major march on Washington to defend their rights,’’ she added.

John Molyneux, secretary of the Irish Anti-War Movement, said having an "unstable, far-right, racist, misogynist nationalist at the head of the world's biggest military machine, and with his finger on the nuclear button, was a major threat to the world".

Lucky Khambule, of the Movement of Asylum Seekers, said the fact an "unapologetic racist and sexist'' would occupy the most influential office in the world should be opposed by all who believed in basic decency and human dignity.

Michael O'Regan

Michael O'Regan

Michael O’Regan is a former parliamentary correspondent of The Irish Times