Taoiseach criticised for congratulating Trump

Enda Kenny sent the US president-elect a letter congratulating him “on behalf of the people of Ireland”

Taoiseach criticised for congratulating Trump

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charles Flanagan (right) looks on as Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaks to the media. 03-Nov-2016 Image: Niall Carson PA Wire/PA Images

The Taoiseach has come in for criticism for offering US president-elect Donald Trump his congratulations “on behalf of the people of Ireland.”

Enda Kenny said he is now willing to work with Donald Trump - after previously labelling the businessman’s comments on immigration, “racist and dangerous.”

Mr Kenny has sent the future US President a letter congratulating him on his victory this morning.

He said the American people have democratically spoken and offered his congratulations on behalf of the Irish people.

The Taoiseach is now pledging to work with the new American administration and insists his previous comments were made, “in the heat of battle.”

Independent TD Mick Barry, said today’s election result will see a “racist, sexist, bigoted billionaire in the White House” and upbraided Mr Kenny - as well as the leaders of Fianna Fail and Sinn Féin - for congratulating the future president.

“You are not offering those congratulations in my name and you are not offering those congratulations in the name of AAA/PPP,” said Mr Barry.

“I am sure there will be a lot of people out there who will second my emotions in relation to that.

“I remind the Taoiseach that this is a man who has spoken of 11 million deportations from the United States over the next period of time.”

Mr Kenny said he will work to ensure that the “bonds of friendship and co-operation that have flourished during the President Obama's tenure will continue with the new Administration.”

“I look forward to working with the new US Administration to further strengthen the deep friendship between Ireland and the United States which has been fostered over many years,” he said.

“The Deputy seems not to accept the democratic result of the vote of the people of the United States.

“We here will work with the new Administration, just as we have worked with all Administrations over the past 50 years, in the interest of developing economic and social links between Ireland and the United States.”

Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams also congratulated the future president.

“The onus is on the President Elect to represent all the people of the USA and to play a positive and progressive role in world affairs,” he said.

He said Hillary Clinton played a leadership role in the Irish peace process during her time as First Lady and as Secretary of State.

“We must ensure that support will continue with the new administration through the next four years.” He said. 

Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin welcomed Trump’s acceptance speech comments indicating his intention to try to "heal the wounds" of the election.

“It is important that as a country we move quickly to prepare our case to defend our interests,” he said.

“I sincerely hope that the long standing and excellent relationship between Ireland and the USA will continue.”