Leo Varadkar says he cannot confirm June visit to Ireland by Donald Trump
TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has said he cannot confirm a visit to Ireland by Donald Trump but the President of America is "always welcome".
Speculation is increasing that the US president will visit in early June.
Mr Trump will make a three-day state visit to the UK from June 3-5.
He is expected to travel to France on June 6 to attend commemorations to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
It is anticipated that Mr Trump will base himself in Ireland after leaving the UK, in what is thought will be primarily a private visit centred on his golf course at Doonbeg in Co Clare.
The trip has not yet been confirmed by the Irish government or the White House.
The Irish Labour Party have insisted Mr Trump is not welcome, with Senator Aodhan O Riordain saying it "must now be the absolute focus of all peace-loving democrats in Ireland to oppose this visit".
But Mr Varadkar told RTE: "If President Trump comes to Ireland he will be treated with respect and given the welcome his office deserves.
"The President of America is always welcome in Ireland, just as the Taoiseach and Irish President are welcome in the United States. We've a really strong relationship, it's economic, it's cultural, it's historic. It's about our family connections as well.
"I think we have to rise above whoever holds the office, whether it's the office of President there or here or Taoiseach and remember the really important relationship that exists between Ireland and America. That has to be the priority."