Trump and environmentalists on collision course
Billionaire hints he hopes to extend Doonbeg golf links course across EU-protected sites at the property
Golfers walk along the coastal path on the Doonbeg Golf Links course in Co Clare. Donald Trump has said he will invest up to €45 million on the course.
The course – originally designed by Greg Norman – omitted EU-designed Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) from the 18-hole course design.
At his press conference in Shannon yesterday, Trump said: “Greg Norman couldn’t use the right land. A lot of people would say ‘that’s strange, why didn’t you use the right land?’ I don’t want people to say that anymore.”
He said earlier: “The course is very good, but they never got to use the good land because they had certain environmental problems that didn’t allow them to use the good land.”
He added: “So hopefully what we will be able to do in a fairly rapid moment is to use the land the way it should be used and do something that will be as good as anything anywhere in the world.”
Asked if he intends to extend the course into the SAC area, Trump said: “We are talking to the environmental authorities. They have one section and it is cordoned off from humans, but cows are allowed go there and you know what cows do? Right? All over the place.” He added: “This is not the right way to do it and they understand that part of it. We think we will be able to maximise this great land which will ultimately be great for tourism.”
Trump said he will also be a friend to the tiny whorl snail, the EU-protected Vertigo Angustior. There are tens of millions of the snail at the course and Trump said: “We have a very good relationship with the people involved with the snail. You see, when they originally came, they said that the snail is endemic to that one site, but it is all over the world.
He added: “At one time, it was a protected species but unfortunately they found after they built the course it is all up and down the coast and all over different parts of the world. So it is not what they thought it was, but nevertheless, we will be working with them so that we can do what it is proper.”
Trump confirmed: “We are not going to take areas of land we don’t need. We only want areas that will create one of the great golf courses of the world and that is the thing that it is going to be great for Ireland and Doonbeg. It is a special piece of land and we are doing to do something very very special with it and we are going to do it in a environmental sensitive way – very important to us.”
Trump said yesterday the people who love Ireland will thank him for the very special work he is doing at Doonbeg golf resort.
Trump promised an investment of up to €45 million in the recently-renamed Trump International Golf Links Resort at Doonbeg and hundreds of jobs to flow from the investment.
The Trump organisation spent a reported €15 million on the purchase of Doonbeg and Trump said he will be “doubling and tripling that number fairly quickly” in further investment. Trump said that the investment will include a fantastic ballroom.