Trumps planning to "fix" not rebuild Shark's Doonbeg

Trumps planning to "fix" not rebuild Shark's Doonbeg
Greg Norman during the design phase at Doonbeg — now rebranded "Trump International Golf Links, Ireland" Picture ©

Greg Norman during the design phase at Doonbeg — now rebranded "Trump International Golf Links, Ireland" Picture ©

It doesn't sound as though the Trump Organisation is a planning a major rebuild of Doonbeg - or "Trump International Golf Links, Ireland" as it has been rebranded since Donald Trump completed a reported €15m purchase earlier this week.

Despite more than €1m in coastal erosion damage, Trump's son Eric told the Clare Champion's Peter O'Connell that the Greg Norman designed track would simply be repaired.

“We knew that coming into the property," he said of the erosion damage. "Quite frankly, there’s no one better in the world at building than us. It’s what we do. We build golf courses. Not that the golf course here is for rebuild. But we’ll make sure that those areas that are damaged are fixed better than ever."

Whatever about the plans for the course, it appears that Eric Trump and his brother Don Trump Jnr had an adventurous trip to Co Clare on Wednesday as winds gusting over 160kph caused major destruction across the country, especially in the southwest.

"Flights from London and Birmingham were cancelled as the storm took hold on Wednesday. Eventually, the Trump brothers, Eric and Don, left England on a flight for Dublin, which was subsequently diverted to Shannon. So after all of that, they reached Doonbeg, ironically ahead of their re-arranged schedule, on Wednesday night."

Clearly, the Trumps are not going to be put off by a little wind, just so long as there are no wind farms around. 

Last year,  An Bord Pleanála (the Irish Planning Board) refused planning permission for what it called "an industrial scale" €200m windfarm near Doonbeg. The plan was to build 45 turbines to a height of 400ft.

Trump Snr lodged plans in October for the second course at his resort in Scotland but this week lost legal bid to stop a £230million wind turbine development at the Aberdeen venue.

He withdrew the planning application on Wednesday — the day he announced the purchase of Doonbeg — and spoke to The Irish Times about the move to Ireland and his opposition to wind farms in Scotland, controversially describing them as a disaster comparable to the Lockerbie jet bombing that killed 270 people in 1988.

“Wind farms are a disaster for Scotland, like Pan Am 103. They make people sick with the continuous noise. They’re an abomination and are only sustained with government subsidy,” he said. “Scotland is in the middle of a revolution against wind farms. People don’t want them near their homes ruining property values,” he said.

As for fears that the Trumps would turn Doonbeg into a private club, Trump Jnr told TodayFM: 

“It’s not that we bought a trophy estate.

"We are going to be very actively involved and we will be there very often. Nothing’s going to change. It’s not going to turn into a private members only kind of thing. 

“It’s always going to be open to the public. We are always going to welcome that.”