Belfast Telegraph

Mike Pence to meet Michael D Higgins and Leo Varadkar on Ireland visit

The US vice president arrived at Shannon Airport on Monday afternoon for his first official visit to Ireland.

US vice president Mike Pence is undertaking his first official visit to Ireland (Jacob King/PA)
US vice president Mike Pence is undertaking his first official visit to Ireland (Jacob King/PA)

By Rebecca Black, PA

Mike Pence is to meet the Irish president and Taoiseach on the second day of his first official visit to Ireland.

The US vice president arrived at Shannon Airport on Monday afternoon where he met Ireland’s deputy premier Simon Coveney.

He stayed at US president Donald Trump’s family golf resort at Doonbeg in Co Clare, an area where his family has ancestral links.

On Tuesday morning he will fly to Dublin where he will meet Irish president Michael D Higgins at Aras an Uachtarain in the Phoenix Park.

Following lunch, Mr Pence will meet Ireland’s premier Leo Varadkar at Farmleigh House.

On Monday, Mr Pence was accompanied by his wife Karen Pence after Air Force Two touched down at Shannon Airport.

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Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence arrive at Shannon airport for the start of an official visit to Ireland Jacob King/PA Wire

Mr Pence pledged that his country will play a constructive role over Brexit, ahead of his scheduled meeting with UK prime minister Boris Johnson later this week.

“I will be in the UK meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in just a few days but I think the opportunity to better understand Ireland’s perspective and unique needs, particularly with regard to the Northern border, will make us even better equipped to hopefully play a constructive role that when Brexit occurs, it will occur in a way that reflects stability and addresses the unique relationship between the UK and the Republic of Ireland,” he said.

Mr Pence spoke ahead of his visit about looking forward to celebrating his Irish roots.

His mother Nancy Pence Fritsch and sister Ann Pence Poynter are also visiting.

Speaking shortly after his arrival in Ireland on Monday, Mr Pence said that he was looking forward to his trip to the place his grandfather called “with warmth and fondness in his voice … the old country”, adding: “It’s an honour to be back.”

Mr Pence’s comes just months after Mr Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited Ireland.

There were both protests against Mr Trump’s visit in Dublin and Shannon, as well as a warm welcome in Doonbeg.

PA

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