Donald Trump calls Irish investment ‘small potatoes’

US presidential candidate tells rally he no longer cares about Doonbeg golf resort

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump boasted about his investment in Doonbeg golf resort in Co Clare, but said he does not care about it anymore now that he is running for the White House.

The Republican presidential candidate trumpeted his purchase of Doonbeg at a campaign rally at Kiawah Island in South Carolina, a resort built by the same developers behind Doonbeg.

"I bought it a number of years ago and during the downturn in Ireland I made a good investment. It is an incredible place," Mr Trump told about 600 people in a clubhouse ballroom at the US resort.

“So Doonbeg, you know about Doonbeg?” he asked, drawing shouts of “Yeah!” from the crowd.

“We spent a lot of money on making it just perfecto and now it’s doing great. But I don’t care about that stuff anymore. It is like small potatoes, right,” Mr Trump said in remarks broadcast live on US TV.

“I’ll let my kids run it, have fun with it, let my executives have a good time, but I don’t care about it. I care about making America great again. That’s what I care about,” he said, repeating the slogan from his campaign that has revved up grassroots Republicans.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan was criticised for participating in a red-carpet welcoming party for the property mogul when he landed at Shannon Airport after completing his €15 million purchase of Doonbeg in May 2014.

Mr Trump name-checked Ireland in another part of his speech when he complained about US drug company Pfizer and other firms moving to Ireland because their American taxes were "too high".

“When you lose Pfizer . . . how big a company is Pfizer?” he said. “They are moving. It is gone. They are in Ireland. They are moving to Ireland.”