Fianna Fáil members will be allowed to protest the November visit of divisive US president Donald Trump to Ireland but must remember to "respect" the long-standing connection between Ireland and America.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin confirmed he will not stand in the way of any elected member of the party joining protests against Mr Trump's visit later this year, saying it is "very clear" the party is opposed to many of his policies.
Speaking on the first day of Fianna Fáil's two-day pre-Dáil think-in at the Grand Hotel in Malahide, north Dublin, Mr Martin said he and other members of the party have repeatedly emphasised their concerns over Mr Trump's impact on the US and the world.
Asked specifically if he will allow TDs, senators, MEPs, councillors and grassroots members to join protests against Mr Trump's visit, Mr Martin said he will but added the mutual friendship between the "two democracies" must still be respected.
Mr Martin said: "We've made our view very clear, we don't agree with the policies of president Trump at all, and we've articulated that.
[quote]"So I've no difficulty with members of the party articulating their opposition to the policies of president Trump."[/quote]
"That said, he is president of the United States, he is democratically elected by the people, and we respect that. We respect the long-standing tradition between our two democracies.
"The president of the US is welcome to visit Ireland, and we welcome the opportunity to talk to him and articulate our position on a number of issues that we're currently not happy with," Mr Martin concluded.