US Vice President Mike Pence will land in Shannon Airport later today ahead of planned official events in Dublin tomorrow.
The former Indiana governor’s visit had originally been scheduled for later in the week but was brought forward due to scheduling changes.
The 60-year-old will fly into Shannon this evening and stay overnight in President Trump's lavish Doonbeg resort, where Trump himself visited earlier this year.
From there, Pence will travel to Dublin tomorrow to meet President Michael D Higgins at Áras An Uachtaráin, before meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for talks and lunch at Farmleigh House.
Throughout his duration in the capital, Amnesty International, along with other NGOs and activist groups, are holding a ‘Disco outside the Dáil’ to celebrate all those who are being targeted by the Trump/Pence administration’s policies.
The divisive presidential team have, in the recent past, spear-headed policies that target refugees, migrants, women and LGBTI people, as well as pushing climate change denial and disavowing media organisations who publish critical remarks.
“We don’t want Mike Pence to return to the USA and pretend that there is support for his policies here," said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.
"We know that there are many Americans who identify with Ireland, including Pence, and we want to say very clearly: If you feel Irish, then this is what being Irish means now. Ireland wants to be an open, diverse and compassionate place. Where you can be who you are, love who you love, and stand up for your rights."
While there is much more to be done here in Ireland, Amnesty says the huge roll backwards seen in the USA and other countries, is not being experienced here.
“We know there is so much more to do here in this country but we believe we are moving forward, not backwards. We want to make it very clear to Pence - when you return to the USA, do not pretend there is support for your policies here in Ireland.”
“We are publicly inviting Vice-President Pence to attend the disco. If he wants to celebrate his Irish roots, then he should know what being Irish means now. It means wanting to be open, compassionate and diverse.”
The event – which will run on Tuesday 3 September from 1pm - 3pm – is billed as a “celebration and of all the people that Pence and Trump’s cruel policies discriminate against”.