Independents will not seek to block Trump visit, Cabinet told

Alliance members say they will protest against US president during his Ireland trip

Fine Gael Ministers at Cabinet recognised that Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath had a different view to them on the Trump visit, a Cabinet source said. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Independent Alliance ministers stressed their opposition to the policies of US President Donald Trump during a discussion on his impending Irish visit at yesterday's cabinet meeting, but said that they would not oppose Mr Trump's visit.

Mr Trump is due to visit Ireland after the November 11th commemorations of the centenary of the end of the First World War in France, a move expected to prompt large protests against the US President.

Independent ministers Finian McGrath and John Halligan have said they will protest against Mr Trump but Mr McGrath told colleagues yesterday they were not seeking to block the visit.

Fine Gael ministers recognised that Mr McGrath had a different view to them, a cabinet source said.


A spokeswoman for the Independent ministers said the independent Minister for Transport Shane Ross disapproves of Mr Trump’s policies and would decide in the coming weeks how to register that disapproval.

She said the independent Minister for Communications Denis Naughten believed that "protest doesn't change anything but engagement does", and the independent Minister for Children Katherine Zappone was out of the country and it was not possible to ascertain her view.

Mr Trump is expected to visit Dublin and Doonbeg Co Clare, where he owns a hotel and golf course, although this part of the visit is expected to be private. He will have a meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin and is also likely to pay a courtesy call on the President in Áras an Uachtaráin. The visit is expected to take place shortly after the inauguration of the next President, also due on November 11th.

The Government spokesman stressed the extensive ties between Ireland the US. He said there had been no arrangements made between the Irish and US authorities at this stage. An extensive security operation is likely.

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times