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Clarke lambasts "treehuggers" over Giant's Causeway resort

Darren Clarke is angry. Darren Clarke has again reacted angrily to National Trust opposition to a proposed new golf development near the Giant’s Causeway.

The matter reached the High Court in Belfast on Wednesday with lawyers for the National Trust, which is attempting to block the development on the north coast, arguing that UNESCO - the body responsible for granting World Heritage Site status - should have been properly consulted before planning permission was granted by the Environment Minister Alex Attwood for the £100m Bushmills Dunes Golf Resort and Spa at Runkerry.

Taking to twitter from South Africa, where he is competing in the Volvo Golf Champions, Clarke wrote:

  • “All the treehuggers coming out in support of the NT against the new golf course on the north coast at home!”
  • “RT @rkindon @DarrenClarke60 no animals were harmed in this Tweet Lol…brilliant!!!”
  • “Nice to see that a lot of you agree with me regarding Bushmills Dunes. It can only help Northern Ireland. For those of you who don’t then unfollow me please! #onlymyopinion”

Runkerry House, site of the proposed new developmentAccording to a UTV report, the Trust’s lawyer (QC) Stewart Beattie, claimed that the Minister acted “unreasonably and irrationally”.

The possibility could not be ruled out that some plant species could be lost as result of development, the court heard.

The rarest of these, the Spring Vetch [a plant], was said to be only found at three locations in Northern Ireland.

Clarke spoke heatedly against opposition to the new resort during this year’s Irish Open at Royal Portrush:

We’ve got a another golf course under development two miles up the road Bushmills Dunes, and it’s been in planning for 12 years and there’s a 100million quid project and the National Trust have jumped in and blocked it again after everybody else had passed it.  They have got a huge backing from Northern Ireland, $9 nine million quid and they using that to block the new course, which can only enhance the whole area, as well.  So hopefully that will be resolved.  It would be another thing for this area, not just Portrush, but all of Northern Ireland to go along with some of the other great courses we have, as well.  Hopefully some stage they will come to their senses and let the course be built.