US Vice-President Mike Pence meets Irish president and PM

Mike Pence honoured & privileged to return to Ireland

US Vice President Mike Pence at a meeting with Minister of foreign affairs Simon Coveney after he arrived at Shannon airport for the start of an official visit to Ireland.

The Vice President and his family will be staying at the Trump Resort in Doonbeg for the duration of their stay.

Asked if Trump had suggested Pence stay at the property, the vice president's chief of staff, Marc Short, told journalists, "I think that it was a suggestion".

The vice-president's visit was originally due to take place on Friday, but was brought forward after it was announced that he would visit Poland over the weekend to attend World War Two commemorations in place of President Trump.

Mr Pence's stay was paid for by USA taxpayers, Mr Short said, but the vice-president personally paid for his sister and mother who had travelled with him.

Pence has held official meetings with Irish leaders in the nation's capital, Dublin, but has flown back and forth across the country in Air Force Two to spend nights in the small village of Doonbeg, where his cousin runs a bar and his great-grandmother grew up.

Amnesty spokesperson Kieran Clifford said the event will show the vice president what Irish values mean.

Trump, who owns hotels and golf clubs across the US and in Europe, has come under intense criticism for frequenting properties he owns and profits from - giving them taxpayer-funded publicity and running up millions of dollars in taxpayer costs.

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Pence flew to Dublin on Tuesday after spending the night at the Trump International Golf Club in Doonbeg on the west coast of Ireland.

But Chasten Buttigieg took offense to the comment and said that he also sat with people who supported gay conversion therapy, opposed gay marriage, and thought that being gay was a choice.

California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu on Twitter accused Pence of "funneling taxpayer money" to Trump by staying at the hotel.

Mr. Pence initially planned to finish a European swing at Doonbeg to explore his family roots.

Police in County Clare stopped a protester as she marched towards the terminal at Shannon Airport carrying placards as Pence landed yesterday.

Speaking in the Presidential Suite at Shannon Aiport, Pence declared, "I want to say what a privilege and an honour it is to be back on the Emerald Isle".

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