Taoiseach to invite Trump to Ireland

Varadkar says invitation extended by former taoiseach Enda Kenny still stands

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is to extend an invitation to US President Donald Trump to visit Ireland when he meets him for the first time tomorrow in the White House.

Speaking in Washington after a meeting at the US Chamber, Mr Varadkar said the invitation extended by former taoiseach Enda Kenny still stands.

“Donald Trump has invited me to Washington DC. I’m here this week. He’s going to invite me to his house, and I think it’s absolutely appropriate, normal hospitality that when someone invites you to their country, their house, you reciprocate with an invitation. I don’t play golf, so I won’t be playing a round of golf with him if he comes to Doonbeg, but perhaps it will be an opportunity for him to visit some of the Irish companies that invest in the US, and see the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.”

Mr Varadkar also said he expects to discuss Ireland’s economic relationship with the US and the recent tax changes announced by the US government.


That is “part of the reason I’m keen to meet him. We need to talk about this things. I think what President Trump has done in many ways is emulate our tax policy. He’s decided that it makes sense to have lower tax for business, and that it makes sense to tax companies on the money they make in your country. If anything, I’ll be congratulating him on the fact that he’s successfully changed America’s tax laws,” he said.

“I’m certainly not going to criticise him for going towards the tax system we have in Ireland.”

Mr Varadkar was speaking after a roundtable discussion at the US Chamber of Commerce, where he met with representatives of US companies with operations in Ireland including Intel, Allergan, Boeing and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He said none of the companies had suggested they may change their investment commitments in Ireland.

“If anything they will be intensifying their relationship with Ireland into the future.”

Mr Varadkar also reiterated his suggestion that the Irish and British governments would table talks to restart power-sharing after Easter.

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch, a former Irish Times journalist, was Washington correspondent and, before that, Europe correspondent