Republic of Ireland news

Border on agenda for Donald Trump's visit to Ireland

President Donald Trump with first lady Melania Trump welcomes Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Ireland, upon arrival at the White House, Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Washington 

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump could visit the border after he confirmed he would travel to Ireland.

Following a meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the White House yesterday, President Trump was asked by reporters if he would like to visit Ireland soon. He replied: “I will. I love it, I love it. “I have property there and I might not get to see it again, but I will.”

President Trump owns a golf course at Doonbeg in Co Clare.

On the Irish border, Mr Trump said: “That is an interesting border also, we have two interesting borders” – an apparent reference to the US/Mexico frontier where he wants to build a wall.

After the meeting with Mr Trump, the taoiseach said a firm date for the president’s visit to Ireland had not yet been set but he had a “standing invitation”. Mr Varadkar’s comments came a day after he said Mr Trump may be able to visit “some of the Irish companies that invest in the US, and also as well perhaps to see the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland”.

“I know that’s something he expressed an interest in when we spoke on the phone some months ago,” the taoiseach said. Mr Varadkar said yesterday that he and President Trump discussed the impact of Brexit on the border.

“The president was very aware of the issues that could affect Northern Ireland if there is a return to a hard border and I think will be very much on our side in working for a solution to make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said.

Seven US presidents, including John F Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, have visited Ireland.

Mr Varadkar said he will not be playing golf with him if the US president does make the trip.

"I'm not into golf, so I won't be playing golf with him if he comes to Doonbeg but perhaps it would be an opportunity for him to potentially visit some of the Irish companies that invest in the US and also perhaps even to see the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland," Mr Varadkar said

"I know that something he has expressed an interest in."

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