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Donald Trump to make brief visit to Ireland in November

By Adrian Rutherford and Kevin Doyle

US President Donald Trump will visit Ireland for two days in November.

Mr Trump plans a "brief" stop-off in the Republic as part of a wider trip to Europe to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Political sources in Dublin confirmed he has accepted an invitation issued by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on St Patrick's Day this year.

It is understood Mr Trump will spend one day in Dublin and one day in Co Clare, where he owns a golf course.

There is no indication that he will visit Northern Ireland.

A statement from the White House press secretary said that Mr Trump hoped to "renew the deep and historic ties" between the two countries.

The Irish Government said last night: "The Taoiseach understands that President Trump will stop in Ireland for a brief visit on his way to or from the Armistice commemorations in Paris.

"It will be an opportunity to follow up on the issues discussed in the White House in March including migration, trade, climate change and human rights issues."

Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said: "The US President is always welcome in Ireland.

"Our two countries have such strong historic, economic, cultural and family ties. Maintaining those connections is always a top priority."

The White House said: "President Donald J. Trump will travel to Paris, France, to participate in a November 11 commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting in World War I.

"The President's participation in this event will highlight the sacrifices that Americans have made, not only during World War I but also in the century since, in the name of liberty.

"While in Europe, the President will also visit Ireland to renew the deep and historic ties between our two nations."

The Irish visit is likely to prove controversial and a diplomatic headache.

As it stands, a visit to Northern Ireland is not on the agenda.

In March, after attending the White House for the St Patrick's Day celebrations, DUP MP Ian Paisley said he had personally invited Mr Trump to Northern Ireland.

Mr Paisley said at the time that Mr Trump had "indicated to me personally that it is his intention to visit", adding: "I look forward to welcoming him and to seeing him, hopefully in Co Antrim."

But SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said last night that Mr Trump was "not welcome here"

The Irish visit follows a meeting between the President and Mr Varadkar at the White House in March, when the trip was first floated. Asked by reporters if he intended to visit, Mr Trump said: "I will. I love it, I love it."

Mr Trump, who owns a golf course at Doonbeg in Co Clare, said at the time that he planned to go to the border as part of the visit. Mr Trump will be the seventh serving US President to visit Ireland.

John F. Kennedy was the first president to visit in 1963. He came on a four day trip in June - five months before he was assassinated.

Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W Bush also came.

The most recent presidential visit was in 2011 when Barack Obama headed to Moneygall in Co Offaly, the home of his great great great grandfather and had time to sample some stout in Ollie Hayes' pub.

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