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US President elect Donald Trump in Doonbeg

Trump’s discriminatory comments ‘a disgrace’

ORLA Ní Éilí, co-ordinator of the Clare Immigrant Support Centre in Ennis, has expressed the hope that Donald Trump’s discriminatory views on Muslims, as expressed this week in the US, will not prevent people who practise the faith from being employed at the Trump-owned golf resort in Doonbeg.

Trump advocated a total shut down of Muslims entering the US “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.

Ms Ní Éilí said it is imperative that Trump’s views are not reflected in employment decisions made at Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland in Doonbeg.

“I know that here in Clare, where he is an employer, the people managing on the ground will have no such discrimination in their engagement of staff for the golf resort. If people of any background are the best people for the job, they should get it, irrespective of religion, creed or ethnicity. We need to tell him that he needs to not speak like this because it is disrespectful and very hurtful.”

When contacted by The Clare Champion, Joe Russell, general manager of the Doonbeg resort, said Donald Trump’s businesses have nothing to do with his political aspirations.
“While Mr Trump is currently the front runner in the race to become the Republican nominee for president of the United States, Trump Hotels are not involved in either politics or the campaign.”

“Our efforts will remain singularly focused on operating and managing our hotels while continuing to embrace a diverse base of employees and guests from all geographic regions and backgrounds. On behalf of the Trump Doonbeg team, we will continue to operate our resort with the goal of exceeding the expectations of each and every one of our guests and employees,” Mr Russell continued.

“Trump Hotels was founded in 2007 and has expanded to 10 properties worldwide with three additional hotels scheduled to open in 2016. This growth is a testament to our service, exceptional locations and spectacular properties but is also due in large part to those guests who book and regularly experience our luxury hotels and resorts. Our culture has always been to warmly welcome each guest while on business or leisure,” he added.
Trump’s remarks were made in the wake of a mass shooting at a Californian care home, carried out by two Muslims who the FBI say had been radicalised.

His comments were met with widespread condemnation, with even leading US Republicans heavily criticising them.

Orla Ní Éilí said she is not sure if she would welcome Donald Trump on his next visit to Clare.

“I’m not going to say yes or no. He will obviously be in Clare from time to time as he has a business here and, as we know, he is a very avid businessman. I trust that a lot of the responsibility for the day-to-day management and employment is done by a management that do not, in any way, share his spoken values and his discriminatory values around religion.

“I guffawed at first to think that somebody would say something as ridiculous as he was saying. However, when you think about it a little bit more seriously, it is disgraceful that a man who is running for public office would think and expect to be tolerated, while expressing such terrible and indiscriminate disrespect for a community, from many different backgrounds, who share a common religion. If you put yourself up as a public representative, you have an absolute and utter obligation not to engage in hate speak and this is hate speak,” she pointed out.

Consultant psychiatrist and former Labour TD, Dr Moosajee Bhamjee, believes Trump’s comments were planned with the election in mind. “I think it’s an election strategy. Remarks like that are not good in that he is slandering all Muslims. Most Muslims are anti-Islamic State. His remarks are wrong and they don’t do any good for relationships between religions and communities,” he commented.

By Peter O’ Connell

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