By Peter O’Connell
DONALD J Trump has told The Clare Champion he is completely opposed to any possibility of windfarms being given the go-ahead in Doonbeg or in the West Clare region. In an extensive interview from his New York office, he even said he would join any local group opposing such a development.
He claimed windfarms are “destructive, destroy tourism, depreciate property values and kill birds”. Confirming his support for any committee campaigning against windfarms in West Clare, he said, “Put me in that group”.
Mr Trump acknowledged windfarm construction has caused issues for his company in Scotland. “I’ve been fighting it for years in Scotland. I think I’ll end up winning that battle. It’s a battle that just never ends. These are terrible, destructive things. They don’t work without massive government subsidies. They raise everybody’s taxes and they kill all the birds,” he claimed.
“They wipe out the birds. You might as well be standing at the shore with a shotgun. They just wipe them out. In Arizona we have the Bald Eagle. If you kill a Bald Eagle they put you in jail and yet the windmills have killed all of them. They wiped out the Bald Eagle population practically. It’s so inconceivable that people allow these things to happen so, hopefully, the local area won’t let that destroy it,” he said of West Clare.
“I’ve been dealing with the groups that have been fighting them in Ireland and fighting them very hard. I will say this, if the windmills are allowed to go up, it would be very negative to Doonbeg. It would be a terrible blow to tourism in Ireland. A terrible blow. I really can’t imagine that it will be allowed to go. They create tremendous damage and the electricity they produce is not good. It’s so expensive, it doesn’t work,” he added.
He insists windfarms lead to a drop in property prices.
“What they (government) have to do is they have to raise everybody’s taxes in order to pay for them. They don’t work without massive subsidies. The only one they work for is the developers, who make a fortune with these things. They probably cause sickness with the noise and the constant whirr.
“They also depreciate property values very substantially. If you have a house and you’re anywhere near, even visually, to the windmills, you can’t sell the house.
“I’d have such great respect if they killed it. They have a chance to have a place (Doonbeg) in Ireland like no other place. If they have the windmills, it will absolutely destroy tourism,” he believes.
The Trump Organisation chairman is so opposed to the prospect of windfarms, he said he hopes to hear little else about them.
“I think it would be a tremendous blow to the economy and to jobs if they allow these industrial, ugly turbines to be built. It would be tremendously bad. Let’s hope that gets killed and we don’t have to have the subject talked about. That would be the worst thing that could happen to the area, to tourism and to values to the areas.”
Acknowledging that he has some unlikely allies, Mr Trump described the Scottish government’s support of windfarm development as a problem for his organisation.
“Even the environmentalists are against windmills now. Scotland is a problem because you have ‘bad’ Alex Salmond (First Minister). By the way there’s a revolution going on in Scotland against these things. I don’t know if you know that. They’ve destroyed areas and people can’t sell their houses. They’ve got windmills all over the place and, in the meantime, their electric bills have tripled. So now the houses have no value and they can’t pay their electric bills. It’s just crazy. But we’ll win in Scotland,” Mr Trump vowed.