Doonbeg preparing for Donald Trump’s visit next month – The Irish Times

Former US President Donald Trump is set to visit his golf club and hotel in Doonbeg, Co Claire, in late August.

This will be his first visit to Ireland since 2019, when he took over as president and his first visit in a personal capacity since 2015. It is understood that a security operation is underway ahead of his arrival as all former presidents and their spouses are entitled. To receive lifelong Secret Service protection.

Doonbeg resident and local business owner Rita McInerney said Eric Trump, one of the former president’s sons, visited the property a few months ago. Locals also noted a Secret Service presence in the city earlier this year, she told The Brendan O’Connor Show on RT Radio 1 on Saturday.

Ms McInerney said Eric Trump, the former president’s third child, was a regular visitor to Doonbeg before the pandemic halted international travel.

“He [Eric] Came here a few weeks back and as usual, he went to a few pubs in Doonbeg. He doesn’t drink himself but he was definitely out. ,

Dispelling criticism of Mr Trump’s investment in Doonbeg, Ms McInerney stressed that the resort has always been a great employer at the local level.

“The resort was started 25 years ago by a local development company and Shannon Development to create local jobs. We are a small rural community on the west coast of Ireland and we saw this as an opportunity to create jobs by developing a golf course in our area. It’s been great for West Claire.

“We have a good working relationship with the owners of Doonbeg Golf Club. Doonbeg Golf Club employs around 300 people in summers and comes down to around 100 in winters.”

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He said that the residents of Doonbeg are grateful that a special rate is available for the locals who want to play in the golf club. Many residents also supported Trump’s plans for coastal conservation works on the Doonbeg property, which were rejected by en board Planella in 2020.

She says they are a very “active and proud community” in Doonbeg and that they may feel a bit “defensive and defamatory” regarding Trump connections to the city.

“If you’ve seen some social media while traveling [of Donald Trump] There was a lot of vitriol towards us in 2019. Like many communities across the country, you just want to survive and try to do your best.”

Of the former president, Ms McInerney said she would “disagree with many of his politics” but that she was democratically elected in 2016 and “you have to respect that”.

“The Coming People” [to the resort] Were members before Trump and continue to be members and they love coming to West Clare – the remoteness and quality of the golf course.”

Trump’s planned visit – expected to last two or three days – in Doonbeg “will not make a big difference”, she said. But “it will generate a little excitement for a few days and then get back to business”.

Doonbeg Golf Course was opened in July 2002 and was purchased by Trump Hotel in February 2014.

The five-star resort, spread over 400 acres and two and a half miles of waterfront, was put into receivership in January 2014 due to debt associated with properties on the site.

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The hotel has 218 hotel suites, a spacious spa, and several restaurants. Filings with the company office indicate that Mr Trump paid €8.7 million for the luxurious resort.

Speaking to The Irish Times in May 2014, Trump said that four years ago he had sent a team of architects to look at the hotel.

“I said at the time, ‘I wonder if I’ll be able to buy it,’ and I actually tried to buy it and I wasn’t able to.”

However, he said that he was very happy to have bought the resort when an opportunity presented itself.

“It was one of those things. I finished the deal in less than five hours. There aren’t many people who will be able to do that.”

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