US PRESIDENT Donald Trump could yet visit Ireland before he launches his bid for a second term in 2020, it has emerged.
Mr Trump was originally scheduled to stopover in Ireland for two days on his way home from this past weekend's Armistice commemorations in France – which saw him cancel a trip to a World War I cemetery because of "poor weather".
The White House had announced in late August that the US leader would visit Ireland "to renew the deep and historic ties between our two nations", but the trip was called off in September for "scheduling reasons".
But according to sources at the Herald, an "open invitation" still stands and there is an expectation that President Trump will visit sometime before his first term concludes – most likely in 2019.
"Had they known the mid-terms would play out as they did then there's a good chance he'd actually be in Ireland now," a source told the paper.
Exactly 100 years ago today, on November 11th, 1918, World War I came to an end. We are gathered together, at this hallowed resting place, to pay tribute to the brave Americans who gave their last breath in that mighty struggle.... pic.twitter.com/JPUkOr4rW1
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 12 November 2018
Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny first invited Mr Trump to Ireland during the St Patrick's Day celebrations in 2017, while Leo Varadkar reissued the invitation when he travelled to Washington DC in March.
A number of protests had been planned to coincide with the controversial President's original visit to Dublin and his Doonbeg golf resort in Co. Clare, but the demonstrations were called off in the wake of the trip's cancellation.
A six metre-high blimp depicting President Trump as a baby holding a mobile phone – which had previously made an appearance during his visit to London – was being prepped for an appearance over the skies of Dublin by anti-Trump campaigners.
The Irish Army, meanwhile, had already begun to plan a heavy security presence around Dublin Airport ahead of the trip.