Irish taxpayers are facing a €10m bill for US President Donald Trump to visit and stay at his privately-owned golf club and holiday resort in Doonbeg, Co. Clare.
The figure has been widely reported and used by Irish media and not challenged by the Irish government, the Gardai or the Irish Defence Forces.
Mr Trump is scheduled to arrive at Shannon Airport by Airforce One on Wednesday where he is expected to briefly meet Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the sole ‘official’ business of the trip.
It comes at the end of his own much-sought State Visit to the UK where he and his family were the guests of Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace and outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May – who issued the original invitation without first alerting the Palace.
Shortly before his arrival he flouted protocol by endorsing Mrs May’s would be successor as Tory leader and PM Boris Johnson, denied calling the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle ‘nasty’ in an interview with The Sun and directly insulted London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
It will be President Trump’s first trip to Ireland since being elected US President in November 2016.
He had earlier been warmly welcomed by Ireland’s then Finance Minister Michael Noonan.
US Presidents who have visited Ireland in the past while in office include, most famously, President John F Kennedy, President Richard M Nixon, President Ronald Reagan, President Bill Clinton (several times, in and out of office), President George W Bush and President Barack Obama.
Last year the White House took the Irish government by surprise when it announced he would be visiting Ireland – a declaration that was met with widespread protests – and confounded it again when it abruptly cancelled the Irish visit.
On this occasion he is only expected to visit and stay at his Doonbeg golf club in County Clare – which his company purchased in 2015 and which employs up to 300 people locally during peak tourism months – and from which he is due to travel to France on Thursday to commemorate the D-Day landings before returning to Clare to stay the night before heading back to Washington from Shannon.
A number of engagements have been readied for his wife, Melania, should she wish to travel beyond Doonbeg and see more of Ireland.
All annual leave for gardai has been cancelled this week and hundreds of Irish troops are being deployed to Clare and Limerick from army barracks across the country.
Off the west coast of Ireland, Mr Trump will also reportedly be protected by a US warship and a nuclear submarine.
Doonbeg has been locked down since Monday.
Road closures and a no-fly zone have been imposed with special passes required by local residents where the streets have been decked with celebratory and festive bunting. The town celebrated its 20th annual jazz festival last Bank Holiday weekend.
At Shannon the US President is expected to receive a less warm welcome from protestors – who say their demo will be family-friendly – although he will be well shielded from demonstrations by how own Secret Service and gardai.
The protestors are also objecting to the regular use of Shannon by US military flights.
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