Government may only be informed of Trump visit via Twitter - Taoiseach

Varadkar says US president ‘unconventional in his communication methods’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Mr Trump can be “somewhat unconventional in his communication methods” and said he might announce any “imminent arrival” to Ireland by social media. File photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Mr Trump can be “somewhat unconventional in his communication methods” and said he might announce any “imminent arrival” to Ireland by social media. File photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

 

US president Donald Trump might only inform the Government of any potential visit to Ireland shortly before his arrival and by “electronic means”, the Taoiseach has told the Dáil.

Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday there was a standing invitation to the US president and vice president Mike Pence to visit Ireland.

He added that “as of today, there is no date agreed and no programme discussed”.

But he said “President Trump can be somewhat unconventional in his communication methods”, in reference to his preference for making announcements via Twitter and might announce any “imminent arrival” by social media.

He was responding to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin who said “the White House announced a presidential visit to Ireland before our own Government did”, and this now appeared to be the custom.

Mr Martin asked the Taoiseach to “explain what has actually been agreed”, in the wake of Mr Varadkar’s meeting with Mr Trump during his visit to Washington DC for the St Patrick’s week events.

He asked if Mr Varadkar issued an invitation to Mr Trump to visit Ireland, “when is the visit due to take place and when does the Taoiseach propose to make the basic detail available, as is customary”.

Mr Varadkar said there was a standing invitation but no arrangements had been made for a visit.

The Taoiseach said Mr Trump “may well inform us by electronic means of his imminent arrival, but that has not happened so far”.