IF THE SHOE FITS ... Taoiseach Enda Kenny with the shoes he bought from Donie Vaughan in Vaughan Shoes, Castlebar for his visit to meet Donald Trump in the White House on St Patrick's Day
Taoiseach Enda Kenny will stride into the White House on St Patrick’s Day for his meeting with Donald Trump wearing a pair of Donie Vaughan’s shoes.
Mr Kenny called into the the Mayo footballer at his family business Vaughan Shoes in Castlebar on Monday morning last to make his purchase for the visit stateside.
The visit to meet the controversial American president has been the source of some controversy but the Taoiseach appears to be looking to put his best foot forward by purchasing a new pair of shoes for the trip.
“He gave me a call on Sunday night to see if I was around,” Donie told The Mayo News today. “You see the Taoiseach of the country’s name coming up on your phone and you are kinda wondering what this could be about! He was looking to come into me to buy a pair of shoes, it’s quite surreal.
“He’s a regular customer and he was there for about 15 minutes. We were talking about the (Mayo) match (v Dublin) on Saturday night. He drove up and down to it. What surprises people who have never met him is how easy going and down to earth he is. You expect these people to be very different. Often people think that about footballers too but we’re as down to earth as anyone.”
So what pair of shoes did Donie recommend the Irish head of government wear for his meeting with Trump?
“He bought a pair of Clarke’s black brogues, size ten. They retail for €120. Everyone asks me did he actually pay for them! I can confirm that he paid for them himself like any customer.
“The big selling point for us is that he will be wearing them to go to the White House. The suit he’s wearing has to be black or dark so the shoes have to match. It’s about getting a balance of colour and style. The pair he picked have cork on the sole so the sole moulds into the shape of your foot for greater comfort. They’s a stylish shoe as well. We’d a good selection and these were the pair he wanted,” Donie said.
“He was saying he is looking forward to the visit. I did not ask him anything too personal about it but he did mention that while people talk about the amount of American companies that provide employment in Ireland, there are a lot of Irish people who own businesses in America who employ huge numbers of Americans so the relationship goes both ways.”