Protests expected as Trump arrives in Ireland
Dublin - Protesters were gathered Wednesday at Shannon Airport in western Ireland, where US President Donald Trump is due to arrive after his state visit to Britain this afternoon.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is set to meet the US president at 4:30 pm (1530 GMT) at Shannon, where a peace camp has been set up near the airport for the duration of the visit.
The US president will hold a short meeting with the taoiseach at the airport, with Brexit, immigration, US support for Northern Ireland and trade on the agenda.
Labour parliamentarian Jan O'Sullivan has said that public representatives have a duty to protest against Trump's visit.
Speaking on national broadcaster RTE on Wednesday, she said that Trump's visit gives Irish people "an opportunity to be very clear about where we stand on issues such as racism and climate change."
Richard Boyd Barrett of the People Before Profit party called for protests against Trump's "dangerous, obnoxious, toxic politics."
"I don't see why the Irish people have to pay for Trump to use this trip to promote the dark forces of the far right. These are the politics of division and hatred," he told RTE on Tuesday night.
The main protest at Shannon will be at 6 pm, with the anti-war group Shannonwatch and climate crisis protest group Extinction Rebellion expected to be among the participants.
In Dublin, there will be a vigil outside the US embassy, and there will also be protests in Galway city and the towns of Ennis and Sligo in the west of Ireland on Wednesday evening.
The president will spend Wednesday night in Doonbeg in County Clare at the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel.
He is set to travel to France for D-Day commemorations on Thursday. He will then return to host a dinner for businesspeople on Thursday evening. He had originally wanted the taoiseach to be in attendance at Doonbeg, but a compromise of a meeting at Shannon airport was reached.
Trump then plans a round of golf at Doonbeg before returning to the United States on Friday.
A petition with 100,000 signatures will be delivered to the Doonbeg resort by Friends of the Irish Environment in opposition to the construction of a coastal defence at the golf course.
But the locals have festooned the village with US flags and bunting, and local business interests are keen to emphasize that Trump is welcome in County Clare. The golf resort employs over 300 people in the area.
The main Stop Trump Ireland event is on Thursday evening in Dublin.
Groups taking part include the Green Party, the People Before Profit party, Extinction Rebellion, United Against Racism, the Unite trade union and Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Protesters are expected to fly a 6-metre inflatable orange baby styled as Trump again in Dublin's Parnell Square on Thursday and Friday. The blimp is on loan from London, where it proved a media hit during Trump's three-day state visit.dpa