Donald Trump’s election as the forty fifth President of the United States of America has been described as “a political earthquake” but locals in Doonbeg feel it will shake up the West Clare village for the better.
Donald spent almost €9 million when he purchased Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland in 2014. The Doonbeg resort employs more than two hundred people. Donald’s election was a surprise as he defied early polls which suggested Hillary Clinton was heading to the Whitehouse.
There has been widespread analysis and discussion of the news right across the globe. It is dominating the conversation in one area of West Clare in particular as Doonbeg residents ponder the effects the Trump connection will have on tourism in the region. Six different TV crews were in the village to get the reaction of locals.
It is not just Trump who has the Doonbeg link, his Republican running mate and Vice President elect Mike Pence has relatives from the coastal village.
Managing Director of Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland, Joe Russell is very praiseworthy of the seventy year old. “To have the number one and two in the White House it is going to be good for the resort. You can see the impact Obama had on Moneygall. From my own experience from what I have observed, Mr Trump listens, he takes other people’s opinions into account and then he makes a decision and gets on with it”.
Russell added “This is huge for Clare and, I think, particularly for Shannon Airport in terms of the tourism and business opportunities it offers. Yesterday I would refer to him as ‘Mr Trump’ but I suppose from today I will be calling him ‘Mr President’. We even knew he was going to run for the presidency a few days before he announced it in the US.”
“The only thing I also noticed from the start is that he always says ‘thanks’ to staff and is unfailingly polite and courteous. He certainly has been great for Doonbeg.”
Local publican Tommy Tubridy is another happy to see Donald win the election, he refers to him as the second largest employer in West Clare behind Moneypoint Power Station. “The amount of people he brings in during the summer and I think that is only going to get better. It’s really going to put Clare on the map and the whole of west Clare.”
Tubridy is hopeful the President Elect will call in for a “mi-wadi” at some stage. “I’d say 99% of the people here are behind Trump. It’s a great day for Doonbeg and America.”
Hugh McNally also works in the hospitality industry, he is a relation of Indiana Governor Mike Pence. “We are thrilled not just for the Pences but for the village of Doonbeg to be associated so closely with a new President of the United States.”
However not all locals are too pleased, Rita McInerney feels Doonbeg will benefit but she is cautious of implications elsewhere. “I think it is bad myself. It is great for Doonbeg because it puts the focus back on the village with the Pence connection as well, but if you look at his foreign and trade policy, that can only be bad for Ireland. It is good for Doonbeg, but I am concerned for the country and the world”.
Trump is set to take the oath of office on January 20th.