Scaled-down rock wall for Doonbeg golf links attracts more objections

Trump consultants say not erecting coastal defences will affect viability of resort

The Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg, Co Clare: a 49,400-tonne rock barrier to protect holes 1, 9 and 18 at the course is being sought “as a matter of urgency”

The Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg, Co Clare: a 49,400-tonne rock barrier to protect holes 1, 9 and 18 at the course is being sought “as a matter of urgency”

 

More objections have been lodged against the new scaled-down rock barrier planned for Doonbeg golf links resort in west Clare than were made against the much larger 200,000-tonne barrier plan proposed last year. In the new plan, the Donald Trump-owned resort, Trump International Golf Links & Hotel, is seeking planning permission to put in place a 49,400-tonne rock barrier to protect holes 1, 9 and 18 at the course “as a matter of urgency”.

Last December, the Trump resort withdrew its original plan in the face of strong opposition to the proposal and the raft of further information demanded by Clare County Council on the plan. The strength of opposition and the scale of information sought had the resort fearing that it would have taken years for the plan to get the green light. The council is due to make a decision on the new plan this week.

Trump consultants have warned that a failure to put in place coastal defences for the golf course will bring the entire viability of the resort into question. However, the Department of Arts and Heritage has expressed fresh concerns over the new plan, stating that the proposal has not been justified. The council is expected to seek further information and will base much of its demand for further information on the department’s submission.

The previous plan – which was planned to stretch 2.8km – attracted 39 objections. The new plan – in spite of being much shorter at 883 metres and covering two parts of the course – has attracted marginally more at 40 objections. The previous plan attracted 75 submissions in support and only a handful of submissions have been lodged in support of the new application.

Those objecting to the new plan include Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE), the Irish Surfing Association (ISA), the Save the Waves Coalition, the Doonbeg Doughmore beach Community Protection Group and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan TD. One of the objections includes a 40-page submission from An Taisce.

US president Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka have resigned as directors of the Doonbeg golf resort firm, with his sons Eric and Donald jnr being the remaining Trumps on the board. An Taisce’s natural heritage officer Fintan Kelly says: “There may be new Trumps in charge and a new application, but the negative impacts here haven’t changed.”

In the An Taisce objection, Mr Kelly states that the redesign of the course is the cheapest and most sustainable option available to it. “The conservation of sand dunes internationally has proven that they are more cost-effective at protecting the coast than hard sea defences. The proposal is not supported by the scientific consensus that sea walls are not compatible with sand dune conservation.”