After Trump wins, Taoiseach rows back on rhetoric about tycoon

Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Irish premier Enda Kenny has said “racist and dangerous” remarks made by US president-elect Donald Trump were made in the “heat of battle”.

In a softening of his outspoken rebuke of Mr Trump just months ago, the Taoiseach said he would be happy to work with him. In May, Mr Kenny described comments by Mr Trump during the election campaign as “racist and dangerous”. Some weeks later, when asked if he would put that view to the then presidential hopeful in any future meeting, he added: “Certainly. I’d be very happy to.”

But pressed again in the Dail hours after the US election result was announced on whether he would be true to his word, Mr Kenny appeared to relax his stance.

“I’d be happy to deal with the president in a very constructive way as he has announced to the world that his administration will work to heal the wounds in America, will work to have the American people unite and form partnerships with like-minded countries for opportunities for everybody,” he said.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said “there is no doubt that some of the policy positions articulated by Mr Trump during his campaign are a cause for concern for our interests”, citing his comment son trade agreements, US multinationals and illegal immigrants.