US President Donald Trump has called off a planned trip to Ireland less than two weeks after it was announced by the White House, official sources say, amid threats from Irish opposition parties and activist groups to protest his visit.
The White House announced late last month that Trump would travel to Ireland on November 12 for the first time as president and as part of a trip to attend the Armistice Day celebrations in France that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
Shortly after the announcement, a number of Irish political parties including Labour and the Greens announced they would stage protests during the visit, in which Trump was due to visit the Irish capital of Dublin and his golf resort in the west coast village of Doonbeg.
“The proposed visit of the US president is postponed,” an Irish government spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday. “The US side has cited scheduling reasons.”
The Irish media also confirmed that the controversial trip would not now go ahead.
Later in the day, the White House said the final arrangements for Trump's European trip were still under review, however, implying that the Dublin portion had been removed from the schedule.
Speaking at a news conference, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration has not yet made a final decision on whether the US president will make a stop in Ireland en route to Paris.
"The president will travel to Paris in November as previously announced. We are still finalizing whether Ireland will be a stop on that trip. As details are confirmed we will let you know,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.
In March, Irish Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Trump met in the White House to discuss trade, immigration, climate change and human rights.
Ireland’s opposition Green party, which had opposed the trip, described the Tuesday announcement and following cancellation as “erratic.”
“Trump’s positions and demeanor on every issue of the day, from climate to women’s rights, from international relations to political decency, represent the opposite of … Irish values,” said Eamon Ryan, the Green party leader.
Brendan Howlin, the leader of the Irish Labour Party, said in a tweet on August 31 that the US president was “no friend of democracy and human rights,” calling on people to join anti-Trump protests.
Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of the left-wing Sinn Féin, said early in the month that she would be willing to meet Trump during his Irish trip, even as she denounced his policies as "misogynistic" and "racist."
Trump spent four days in the UK in July, having cancelled an earlier trip originally planned for February.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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