The former first and deputy first ministers of Ireland invited President Donald Trump to visit Northern Ireland the day after he had won the election.
Upon the election of Donald Trump back in November, Ireland’s former first minister, Arlene Foster, and deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, had sent the president a letter congratulating him on his win, and inviting him to Northern Ireland.
The Letter of Invitation
In November, a statement was released in Ireland, in which Foster and McGuinness both congratulated the president-elect on his win.
After the story appeared in The Impartial Reporter, the ex-ministers wrote a joint letter, congratulating him and inviting him to visit Northern Ireland.
They commented on American business in the region, saying: “In recent times, we have become a magnet for American companies looking for a European-base and we continue to attract American tourists in ever increasing numbers.”
They also mentioned that the United States is “our largest inward investor” and that they believe their relationship “has proved mutually beneficial for both your great country and our small but dynamic region.”
They then offered their congratulations and an invitation by saying: “We wish you every success in your new role and we extend an invitation to visit Northern Ireland.” They assured he would receive a “warm welcome.”
Reactions to the Invitation
Trump’s invitation to the UK has certainly sparked controversy across the country. Over one million people signed a petition urging the Queen to withdraw the invitation.
However, there is also a counter petition backing the visit, which was signed by over 100,000 people.
Patrik Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland programme director, said: “There is great anger among the public in Northern Ireland towards President Trump’s ban on Syrian refugees and others, his support for torture and his policies on women’s rights.
“Should any visit go ahead, we would call on Northern Ireland’s political leaders to ensure that respect for human rights are top of the agenda. Meanwhile we must hear them speaking out clearly now to condemn policies which flout the most basic principles of human rights.”