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Eric and Don Junior Trump with publican Tommy Comerford in his bar during their walkabout in Doonbeg Village in 2019. Photograph by John Kelly

Doonbeg wants ‘no repeat’ of anti-Trump ‘nastiness’ next month

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Doonbeg locals do not want a repeat of “very nasty comments” made about Doonbeg online by ‘anti-Trump people’ ahead of the ex-US President’s planned private trip to his golf resort in west Clare next month.

Doonbeg publican, Tommy Comerford said that President Donald Trump’s 2019 visit to west Clare was marked by “nasty comments” made by ‘anti-Trump people’ about the west Clare village.

The visit coincides with speculation that Doonbeg could be chosen to host a golf tournament on the controversial LIV Tour, which is attracting big name players away from the established PGA and European Tours.

Two of Trump’s golf courses in the US, Bedminster and Doral are staging LIV Golfevents in 2022 and Trump’s Doonbeg Golf Course was designed by Greg Norman, LIV CEO, who is said to be determined to bring an event to the west Clare venue.

Doonbeg publican, Tommy Comerford said that President Donald Trump’s 2019 visit to west Clare was marked by “nasty comments” made by ‘anti-Trump people’ about the west Clare village.

He said, “Last time in 2019, we got some very nasty comments and one of our people got a nasty letter. We don’t want to be drawing that attention to us again. Everyone knows there are terrible people on Facebook and Twitter and they say terrible things and we don’t want to draw that down on us again.”

He said: “We don’t want people being nasty to Doonbeg again because we support the Trump project here. It is providing employment that has meant so much to west Clare – not alone to Doonbeg.”

Another local publican, Tommy Tubridy said, “I could show you some of the letters” he received after the 2019 Presidential visit.

He said, “As late as two weeks ago, I received a phone call late at night about the man himself. It is not anything to do with us. I don’t pay any heed. I am too long in business to be paying attention to it.”

General Manager at Doonbeg Golf Resort, Joe Russell confirmed the Trump visit stating that the former President “is here at the end of August for a private visit and preparations are underway”.

The Trumps have injected millions into the resort since their 2014 knockdown purchase and Mr Russell said that the resort is having “our busiest year since opening”.

Mr Russell said that at high season 300 people are employed at the resort. During a normal year, the resort pays out €6m in wages.

Mr Comerford said that “as far as we are concerned, Mr Trump has invested a lot of money and created a lot of jobs in the area and we support him in that sense in that he is providing jobs for the area”.

The planned visit follows quickly on a visit by Eric Trump to Doonbeg during the summer. Eric Trump is the most involved of the Trump family in overseeing the family investment in Doonbeg and Mr Tubridy said that Eric “had a great night” in his restaurant and bar a number of weeks ago.

He said: “Anytime he is around he calls in. We are delighted with the investment the Trumps have made and are going to make.”

Local businesswoman, Rita McInerney said that the Trump visit “will provide a little excitement and business as the schools are re-opening around that time”.

Ms McInerney said that she has known about the planned Trump visit to Doonbeg “for the past couple of months”.

She remarked: “It was known alright that he was coming. Eric was here a couple of weeks ago and doing business and looking at what is going on and it is good that they have big plans continually to keep updating what they have.”

The 2019 visit resulted in an over-time payout of €7.5m to Gardai where 3,820 Gardai received overtime payments in connection with the Trump visit – around 27% of the then overall strength of the Garda force of 14,251.

However, due to Mr Trump’s changed status, the security bill this time around will only be a fraction of the 2019 outlay. Mr Comerford said that there was huge excitement during the 2019 Presidential visit “when President Trump’s two boys, Eric and Donald Jnr “went around the pubs and bought drink”.

He said: “I don’t think it will be anything like that this time.”

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