Of Course He Is
Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Ireland on Monday for two days of official business during which, he tweeted last month, he'll also be "celebrating my Irish roots!" He's staying Monday and Tuesday nights at a golf resort in Doonbeg that is owned by President Trump, who also stayed at the resort during his visit to Ireland and France in June. Pence will fly to Dublin on Tuesday to meet with Irish President Michael Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the prime minister.
Landing at Shannon Airport on Monday afternoon, Pence said the Trump administration "will continue to work closely with our partners in Ireland and the United Kingdom to support a Brexit plan that encourages stability and also one that keeps the strong foundation forged by the Good Friday Agreement." If Britain leaves the European Union in October with no deal in place, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears to be steering the U.K. toward, Ireland and Northern Ireland will once more have a hard border, raising fears that the 1998 peace accord will fall apart. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned that such an outcome would doom any post-Brexit U.S.-British trade deals.
Pence was originally scheduled to spend the weekend in Ireland before heading to Britain, but he pushed the trip forward a few days so he could visit Poland in Trump's stead. He is traveling with his wife, sister, and mother, but the "Irish roots" part of the trip involves dinner at a restaurant in Doonbeg that is owned by a distant cousin. Pence first visited Ireland in the 1980s and spent a summer working behind the restaurant's bar and on another distant relative's farm, The Irish Times reports, "He has been a regular visitor with his family since then."
Trump bought the Doonbeg resort in 2014 and has lost money on it every year since. He will presumably profit from the visit by Pence and his security entourage.