Northern Ireland news

Trump set to visit in 2019 says Ian Paisley

US President Donald Trump is set to take in the 2019 Open golf championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Picture by PA
Gareth McKeown

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump is to visit Northern Ireland in 2019, it has been claimed.

DUP MP Ian Paisley has said Mr Trump will accept his invitation to visit Royal Portrush for the Open golf championship in July 2019.

Mr Paisley met US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday in Washington where he was given assurances the visit will take place.

"I invited him to visit Northern Ireland and he has assured me that Northern Ireland will be on both his and the President's itinerary to visit during the presidency," Mr Paisley told the Belfast Telegraph.

Speaking on Wednesday Mr Trump described Royal Portrush as a "great, great course" as he welcomed the Irish contingent to Washington for the St Patrick's Day celebrations.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Mayor of Belfast Brian Kingston and the head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service Sir Malcolm McKibbin are among those in attendance.

The US President is a well-known golf fan and last month played a round with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy. The Holywood golfer faced criticism for his actions, but hit back later stating it was not an endorsement or a political statement.

The 148th Open championship will be played at Royal Portrush in 2019, marking a historic return to Northern Ireland for golf's oldest championship after nearly 70 years.

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