Donald Trump’s visit to Ireland

 

Sir, – The family of John McCain showed great courage and principle by excluding Donald Trump from the funeral of the late senator. Could not our Government exercise the same degree of courage and principle by disinviting Mr Trump from visiting Ireland later this year?

Any negative impact which such action might have on the strong and long-standing friendship between Ireland and the United States would be short lived and would be quickly and easily restored following Mr Trump’s eventual departure from the White House. – Yours, etc,

JOHN GILLEN,

Skerries, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Leo Varadkar says we must welcome the visit of President Donald Trump to Ireland because “we have to treat his office with the respect it deserves”. Even if Mr Trump doesn’t! – Yours, etc,

PATRICIA McDONAGH,

Portmarnock,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Rather than taking to the streets with posters and outrage over the politicising of humanitarian aid, I’d like to suggest a positive and useful form of silent protest.

People who wish to object to the Trump administration’s cruelty should make a small donation to unicef.ie.

The more we donate, the greater the protest and the better the support for those who most need it.

People before posters. – Yours, etc,

DERMOT O’ROURKE,

Lucan,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – The reaction of many Irish politicians to Donald Trump’s visit to Ireland in November is as predictable as it is hypocritical.

Here’s an idea for our political class. Rather than tweeting their faux outrage at Donald Trump’s behaviour and attitudes to migrants and climate change, why don’t they channel that energy instead into the next Dáil session and table some legislation that proposes a more humane treatment of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers in Ireland, and which takes meaningful steps to reduce this country’s carbon emissions.

If they still have energy to condemn The Donald when he arrives in November, at least they will be shouting at him from the high ground. – Yours, etc,

JOHN SMYTH,

Galway.

Sir, – Because of the strong historic links between Ireland and the US, the president of the US will always be welcome in Ireland.

But how I wish the US president we will welcome was someone else! – Yours, etc,

MARY MORRISSEY,

Castletownbere, Co Cork.

Sir, – When the US president lands, he will be coming to a changed country. The most recent head of state to visit, Pope Francis, was received with courtesy but was also challenged by both our President and Taoiseach about the Vatican’s handling of affairs. I expect that this new tradition of bravely speaking truth to power will continue and that Mr Trump will be challenged on matters that adversely affect Ireland such as his support for Brexit, his contempt for asylum seekers and migrants, his views and actions on climate change and other matters that may occur to the authorities. Of course, they may chicken out. What is it to be? Why do I suspect, with a sinking feeling, that I already know the answer? – Yours, etc,

PAT BREEN,

Athlone,

Co Westmeath.

Sir, – Hurricane Ophelia (October), Storm Dylan (December), Storm Eleanor and Storm Fionn (January), the Beast from the East (February and March), historic drought and heatwave (summer 2018) and now Donald Trump (November). When can we expect the onslaught of locusts? – Yours, etc,

DAN DONOVAN,

Dungarvan,

Co Waterford.

Sir, – Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has issued a hastily prepared series of tweets on the impending visit of Donald Trump that is every bit as preeningly self-important as one would expect from the nation’s self-appointed conscience.

Mr Ryan thinks the US president shouldn’t even be allowed to set foot in Ireland (strange given his party’s supposed support for freedom of movement) and declared that Mr Trump’s visit gives us a chance to register our disgust with his policies on climate change, migration, trade, etc.

While in office, Barack Obama oversaw the deportation of 2.4 million immigrants – a record high that earned him the nickname “deporter-in-chief” from immigration groups. That same administration embraced the targeted drone strike and dropped over 26,000 bombs in various theatres of conflict during its final year in office. To add to his illustrious CV, Mr Obama also oversaw the disastrous intervention in Libya and the disintegration of Syria; manoeuvres that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, bequeathed us the so-called Islamic State and the ongoing migration crisis in the Mediterranean.

And yet, there were no mass protests during Mr Obama’s hokey trip to the old homestead in Moneygall, which merely illustrates that stunts like Eamon Ryan’s call to protest are really all about a vacuous display of virtue rather than a genuine, politically motivated protest at US policy.

Yes, Mr Trump is a pompous, vain, boorish blowhard but these are also qualities we will no doubt see in abundance from his most vocal, humourless and excitable opponents in the run-up to his visit in November. – Yours, etc,

SIMON O’NEILL,

Clontarf,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – The Irish people have been dealt a very difficult hand to bid. Should they pass or bid “No Trump”? – Yours, etc,

DAPHNE GUTHRIE,

Westport,

Co Mayo.