Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Ireland has been scrapped, according to the Irish Independent newspaper. But don’t shed a tear for the emerald isle just yet—Irish officials shockingly don’t seem too broken up about their missed opportunity to host the president of the United States.
“This is reflective of a relationship that is now not functioning, that needs to get sorted and needs structures in place,” Micheál Martin, leader of Ireland’s Fianna Fáil political party, told the Independent upon news of the canceled trip. It was a sentiment echoed by other Irish officials, including one diplomatic source who told CNN that many within the government “were definitely not looking forward to Trump’s visit.”
Last month, when Trump first announced a potential visit to the country on his way back from his scheduled appearance in Paris to remember the end of World War I, Irish Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin wasted no time condemning the trip and the president, calling Trump “no friend of democracy or human rights.”
Per usual, the trip—initially scheduled for November 12—hadn’t exactly been the sort of thoroughly vetted presidential outing you might expect from a head of state. “It came a little bit out of the blue,” Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said during a recent radio interview.
“We hadn’t known until just a couple of days ago that he was going to take the opportunity of his visit to Paris for the Armistice commemorations, commemorating a hundred years of the end of the First World War, to visit Dublin, and also he’s going to go to Doonbeg too,” Varadkar added.
Trump owns, yes, you guessed it, a golf course and resort in the town of Doonbeg, in Ireland’s County Clair. He has yet to visit since becoming president.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders seemed to leave a little wiggle room for the visit in a statement, simply saying, “We are still finalizing whether Ireland will be a stop on that trip.” A spokesperson for the Irish embassy in Washington, D.C., meanwhile, said that the official explanation given for the abrupt cancellation was “scheduling reasons.”
Trump’s most recent trip to Europe—with stops in both England and Ireland—was met with a massive wave of protests as well as one giant inflatable baby.