DUBLIN/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump’s plan to visit Ireland for the first time as U.S. president this November has been cancelled for scheduling reasons, the Irish government announced on Tuesday.
But the White House did not immediately confirm the cancellation, saying it was still finalising plans for Trump’s November trip to Europe.
Trump announced in August that he would travel to Ireland as part of a trip to attend the Nov. 11 commemoration in Paris of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War One.
A number of groups announced they would stage protests during Trump’s visit, in which the president had been expected to visit the capital Dublin and his golf resort in the west coast village of Doonbeg.
“The proposed visit of the U.S. president is postponed,” an Irish government spokesman told Reuters. “The U.S. side has cited scheduling reasons.”
But White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later told reporters that no final decision had been made.
“The president will travel to Paris in November as previously announced. We are still finalising whether Ireland will be a stop on that trip,” Sanders said. “As details are confirmed we will let you know.”
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who as a cabinet minister opposed extending an invitation to Trump before changing his mind when he became prime minister, had described the trip as coming “a little bit out of the blue”, but said the office of the U.S. president must be respected.
Ireland’s opposition Green Party, which had opposed the trip, described the announcement and following cancellation as “erratic”.
“Trump’s positions and demeanour on every issue of the day, from climate to women’s rights, from international relations to political decency, represent the opposite of ... Irish values,” Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said.
(The story has been refiled to fix punctuation in paragraph 2)
Reporting by Conor Humphries in Dublin and Roberta Rampton in Washington; Editing by William Maclean and Alison Williams