Former president Mary Robinson has described US President Donald Trump's immigration ban as "un-American".

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mrs Robinson said that the ban causes global imbalance as it bans all refugees from Syria and citizens of seven largely Muslim countries.

Mrs Robinson, a member of the Elders group of international public figures brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007 to promote peace and human rights, said it is chilling that Mr Trump is delivering on his election rhetoric, saying his actions will not make the US safer.

She added that she feared the influence of Mr Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Mrs Robinson said President Trump's ban on abortion funding was one that would have a shocking impact on the ground in developing countries.

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She refused to comment on whether the Taoiseach should travel to Washington for St Patrick's Day.

Enda Kenny will go ahead with the traditional 17 March visit to the White House, despite some political criticism.

Mrs Robinson also declined to comment on the issue of preclearance at Irish airports. 

Dublin and Shannon airports are among a small number of sites in the world that offer preclearance to passengers travelling to the US, allowing them to complete immigration checks before departure rather than on arrival.

At least one person has already been refused preclearance at Dublin Airport since Mr Trump's measures were announced.

Mrs Robinson said President Trump appears to have a very big ego and is influenced by responses.

She added that he is a bully and said we must stand up to bullies.

Flanagan voices travel ban concern to Trump adviser

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan, meanwhile, has expressed concerns about the travel ban to Mr Trump's national security adviser, General Michael Flynn.

Mr Flanagan met General Flynn at the White House late yesterday as part of a three-day visit to Washington DC.

The main thrust of the discussion was on Brexit, the Northern Ireland peace process and immigration reform, centring on illegal immigrants in the US, in particular the estimated 50,000 Irish nationals.

But Mr Flanagan said he felt he also had to take the opportunity to tell General Flynn about Ireland's opposition to the Executive Order refusing entry to all refugees and banning immigration from seven predominately Muslim nations.

Mr Flanagan said he expressed "in a very direct way" the "anxieties and concerns" of the people of Ireland, and the people of the European Union.

He said he pointed out the damaging consequences of the action the US is taking both "in humanitarian terms" and for "the international reputation of America".

He said General Flynn had explained to him the rationale and the background for the administration's decision to ban refugees and certain immigrants in this way.

Elsewhere, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said Mr Trump's Executive Order on refugees is extremely disappointing and morally questionable.

She said the world has never needed an international response to refugees more than now.

Ms Fitzgerald said Ireland had reacted very quickly by sending Mr Flanagan to make our views known.

She said Mr Trump's order would be tested in the US courts.

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar this morning said that the Government does not support President Trump's immigration ban.

Mr Varadkar described it as discriminatory and inhumane and said that it had stepped beyond the boundaries of what is acceptable.

He said that these concerns have been expressed to the US administration.

Mr Varadkar said the Government does not advocate the ending of preclearance at Irish airports, which he said had many advantages for Ireland. 

He said that, for the moment, the existing agreement stands but it would be kept under review.

Mr Varadkar pointed out it was very possible that the ban would be struck down by US courts and it would be unwise for the Irish Government to inflict disadvantage on the country.