Enda Kenny should not be boarding a plane to Washington - Howlin

Issued 29 January 2017

Labour Leader Brendan Howlin has today called on the Taoiseach to confirm that he will not visit the White House on St. Patrick’s Day.

 

"For decades, Irish Governments have been able to enjoy significant access to senior US politicians in the days around St. Patrick’s Day. This has allowed us to raise issues that matter to Ireland, and to Irish people in the US.

 

"That access is valuable, but it is not the only thing of value. Ireland is an open and tolerant nation. We believe that those who are experiencing violence and oppression in their home nations should be welcomed to nations that can provide them with safety and security and opportunity.

 

"President Trump does not share our values. Indeed, he is openly hostile to them. He and his team have made clear that he is unwilling to hear, or even listen to discordant voices. In that context, the only thing a visit by the Taoiseach to the White House could achieve would be to present Ireland as a supine supporter of Trumpism. Such a presentation would be humiliating to the vast majority of Irish people who stand opposed to the policies being implemented by President Trump.

 

"Put plainly, if the Muslim ban remains in place, Enda Kenny should not be boarding a plane to Washington in March. And our Government should be working might and main to make sure that these policies are not enforced on Irish soil."