Belfast Telegraph

US President Donald Trump to visit Northern Ireland: report

Claim major NI figure offered invitation and he 'loved it'

By Jonathan Bell

US President Donald Trump is to visit Northern Ireland, it has been claimed.

The Sun newspaper claims a "major figure in the Northern Irish community" handed the president an invitation to come to the country and he "absolutely loved it," a source said.

The report goes on to suggest the president is on his travels in June and he could land in Belfast, or cross the border, during that time.

During the St Patrick's Day celebrations Mr Trump told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar he intended to visit Ireland "soon" and before the end of his first term in office. He owns a golf course at Doonberg in Co Claire and told the press he "loves it" in Ireland and was determined to visit soon.

"I have property there and I might not get to see it again, but I will," he said during the St Patrick's Day events.

Alluding to the US situation, he described the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic as "very interesting".

The Taoiseach said a firm date for a visit to Ireland had not been set - but the President had a "standing invitation".

It's claimed Mr Trump has told his aides to prepare a visit that will take in both sides of the border and could see him weigh into the debate over how the Irish border will operate after Brexit.

"Discreet inquiries," it's reported have been made to establish if senior figures in Northern Ireland would be available for any potential visit.

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley said he was delighted with the news of a possible visit from the president, who he met earlier this month while in Washington.

"You will be very welcome in Northern Ireland," he tweeted Mr Trump.

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the possible visit was "good news all round".

Last year, the Belfast Telegraph revealed that Mr Trump plans to visit Royal Portrush for the Open golf championship in July 2019.

The DUP's Ian Paisley said at the time that he understood the golf-mad billionaire would be coming to the north Antrim coast for the world-famous competition.

The White House has been contacted for a comment.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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