No oral hearings over works at Trump’s Doonbeg resort

Golf course’s plan to install coastal protection has met with objections

Objectors to the plans for Donald Trump’s Doonbeg resort to build coastal protection works are to miss out on challenging it at a public planning forum as An Bord Pleanála had decided not to hold an oral hearing.

In a letter to all concerned parties, the board said: “The board has concluded that the appeal can be dealt with adequately through written procedures.”

Joe Russell , general manager at the resort, said on Wednesday: “As there is no oral hearing, it appears that An Bord Pleanála has sufficient information to make a decision. An early decision would be helpful to the company.”

It is now more than 2½ years since the resort first lodged the plan.


In December 2017 Clare County Council gave it the go-ahead for 38,000 tonnes of rock to be placed in front of the course at Doughmore beach. The club said at the time that a “do-nothing scenario will bring the viability of the entire resort and its potential closure into question”.

The council’s decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála by a number of parties, including An Taisce .

Others to appeal the decision include the Save the Waves Coalition based in California; environmentalist Peter Sweetman; Longford man Liam Madden; and two Clare-based groups, Lahinch’s West Coast Surf Club and the Miltown Malbay-based community group Save Doughmore.

Legal challenge

The appeals board adjudicating on the appeal was held up for a number of months last year over a legal challenge.

The club has told the board if the natural erosion process is allowed to continue it would result in a loss of 36 per cent of the dune habitat over a 50-year period.

In response to calls from objectors that the golf course should carry out a managed retreat of the course, Doonbeg's parent company, Trump International Hotel and Golf, said it had already put in place a managed retreat of the golf course comprising works from 2014 to holes 1, 6, 9, 14 and 18.

Consultants for the club state that “the execution of golf hole retreat has gone hand in hand with the planning of coastal defence”.

The parent company also said “moving built property and road infrastructure is not feasible”.

Separately, a Trump Doonbeg plan for a €40 million development at the golf resort remains on hold. The development incorporates 53 holiday cottages, a ballroom/function room, leisure centre and a new restaurant.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times