There should be no official welcome for Trump
I do not welcome a visit to Ireland by Donald Trump, particularly during the course of the US Presidential election campaign. And I believe he should not receive any official welcome, even of the most cursory nature.
Citizen Trump holds no elected office in the United States. To extend diplomatic courtesies would be not only unnecessary but also inappropriate.
I agree that, generally speaking, intervention in the domestic politics of another country should be avoided. But American citizens are entitled to know the considered view of their many friends around the world.
We believe that Donald Trump has advocated policies that, if he were elected, would make his country a serious threat to international peace and security. That concerns us all and we are entitled to make it known.
It is not scare-mongering to say that a Trump visit to this part of the world may well provoke a massive public protest, both organised and peaceable and otherwise, and involving both Irish citizens and other Europeans.
There is a Treaty of Friendship and Commerce between Ireland and the United States, dating back to 1950. It reflects the strong bonds of friendship between us.
That Treaty entitles citizens of either state to enter the other, for the purposes of trade and commerce and other purposes, subject to compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
If he visits, Mr Trump would be entitled under the Treaty, like any other US citizen, to expect ‘freedom from unlawful molestations of every kind’, and to receive ‘the most constant protection and security’.
However, the Treaty clearly states that this is subject to the right of the host state to apply necessary measures to maintain public order and to protect public safety.
I do not see that it is either fair, prudent or rational to expect to expect our security services to engage in the major exercise that would be required to maintain public order and to protect Donald Trump during such an entirely unnecessary visit to his golf course.
The Friendship Treaty also clearly states that it does not ‘accord any rights to engage in political activities’. But any overseas visit by a US Presidential candidate is inevitably profoundly political. It would be a nonsense to claim that this one was merely a routine visit to examine business interests.
Finally, under international law Ireland and the US have other obligations. In particular, both our countries have signed the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Both of us are required to respect freedom of religion, to guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against religious discrimination, and to prohibit advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.
Donald Trump has deliberately and consciously stirred up religious hatred against Muslims, including his own country’s Muslin population. Neither Citizen Trump, Candidate Trump nor President Trump should be welcomed here.