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Trump is not welcome in Ireland

2 September 2018

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Speaking in reaction to the announcement of a visit by US President Donald Trump in November, Labour Leader Brendan Howlin spoke about the need for all democrats in Ireland, from left and right, to join in protest against the dangerous exceptionalism of Donald Trump.

Deputy Howlin said:

“Under normal circumstances, the President of the USA would be welcomed in Ireland, whether he or she was Democrat or Republican. There are deep and permanent bonds of friendship between the peoples of Ireland and the United States that will long outlast the Trump Presidency. But we are not in anything like normal circumstances when it comes to this unwelcome visit.

“Donald Trump has presided over the separation of families and caging of children on the US-Mexico border. He has repeatedly made racist and sexist remarks. He has repeatedly made false statement in public utterances, as candidate and as President. He has attacked press organisations who fairly criticise his record in office and he has sought to undermine public confidence in the news media. In short, his conduct is unbecoming of the office of President and we have to draw a line and insist that conduct so far below the threshold of decency has lost the privilege of red carpet treatment.

“Trump has also damaged security co-operation between Europe and the USA and befriended authoritarian leaders while spurning democratically-elected ones, which has real consequences for human rights around the world as tyrants are emboldened to greater oppression of their people or of minorities.

“Ireland is an open and tolerant nation, committed to peace and democracy. Trump’s values are not our values and there should be no welcome for this man. We must send a clear signal around the world that dangerous politicians will be opposed by all democratic means, including by peaceful protest.

“Labour will actively oppose this visit, working with likeminded people. I would ask people to recall the protests in 2003 against the Iraq War, where over 100,000 people marched in opposition. Now is another time where people from all walks of life need to raise their voices together.

“Trump is a menace to democracy and our way of life. Trump is not welcome in Ireland!”