'For all that is holy, please do not let Trump into Ireland'
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar casts his vote in the Irish presidential election in Dublin on Friday. (Niall Carson/PA/AP) October 30 at 6:38 AM
When the White House announced Aug. 31 that President Trump was visiting Ireland, it was a big surprise to the countryâs prime minister, Leo Varadkar. âIt came a little bit out of the blue,â Varadkar said at the time. The trip vanished into the blue almost as quickly as it appeared when the White House announced its cancellation Sept. 11, amid signs that protests would greet his presence.
In between the two dates, it turns out, the Irish government received scores of letters bluntly telling Varadkar that, as one writer said, âI do not want him here.â
âFor all that is holy,â wrote another, âplease do not let Trump into Ireland.â
âTrump and his government are an abhorrence.â
The letters and emails were obtained and reported late Monday by Simon Carswell of the Irish Times through a Freedom of Information Act request and made available by the Times to The Washington Post. Some of the wording and all the names of the writers were redacted. While a handful of letter writers welcomed his visit, the vast majority were negative, even âastoundedâ that Trump would receive an invitation.
âI was so proud of the speech you made a few days ago welcoming Pope Francis to Ireland,â said a missive Sept. 1. âI am astounded that you are now going to welcome to our country [redacted words] Donald Trump.â
âNo citizen of the world that respects social justice, care of the planet, and respect for all people of the world can possibly believe that Mr. Trump represents America or the majority of i ts people with his words and action,â said another letter writer.
One wrote that he or she felt âthe level of public outrage on this will be unlike anything seen before. I can only hope he is impeached before November.â
The letters underscore Trumpâs isolation on the world stage in democratic nations, particularly in Europe. Some of the letters mentioned specific issues, including immigration, trade, climate change and human rights. U.S. presidents have traditionally been among Irelandâs most welcomed visitors because of the strong history of migration from that nation and traditionally shared values, particularly about humanitarian assistance to nations in trouble.
âDonald Trump has denied Climate Change being real 115 times,â said a writer who attached a list for Varadkarâs perusal. âYouâre gong to look stupid to all of your constituents trying to have a worthwhile discussion [redaction].â
Another person wrote: âThe list of polic ies detrimental to world peace that he has introduced is too long to cite. You know all this, so why issue an invitation? .â.â. It was not your finest hour, far from it."
The opposition to a Trump visit privately addressed to Varadkar reflected public opposition. Irelandâs Labour Party said when the trip was announced that âthere would be no welcome mat laid out for a man of his worldview.â
Some suggested that Trumpâs main reason for visiting Ireland was because of his golf course, Trump International Golf Links at Doonbeg. Indeed, he planned at the time to spend a single day in Dublin, the Irish capital, after a day at the course, The Post reported at the time, and then move on to a French commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
One writer, with biting sarcasm, provided Varadkar some âunsuitable talking pointsâ should Trump visit, making reference to the fact that Varadkar is of Indian heritage and gay and that Tru mp seemed confused about European geography, once lumping in Ireland with Britain. Among the topics to be avoided, said the missive:
âYour heritageâ"Mr. Trump [redacted] I see no reason why this would cause issue as long as you do not bring it up.â
âYour sexual orientationâ"Trumpâs V.P. Mike Pence said in 2006 that same sex couples signalled a âsocietal collapse.' "
âThe fact that Ireland is not part of the United Kingdomâ"This one was fairly embarrassing.â
Some of the letters approving of his visit lacked enthusiasm. âI say, âBring him onâ and host this man. . . . âNothing lasts foreverâ so I say take this opportunity while we have it and hope for the best.â
Said another: âI believe that this visit could definitely benefit Mr. Trump. He will see that a small country like ours can live with so many diverse cultures, people, races and different religions quite happily. We didnât have to build a wall, so maybe he wont either!! This visit could save him a fortune!!â
Another supporter of the visit said Ireland should look past Trump personally, âswallow any personal feelings towards this man .â.â. and receive our father nation America, onto our soils with open arms. Trump should be welcomed by each and every single one of us, in honour of all those who would not be alive today if our ancestors were not given shelter in America.â
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