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Photograph by John Kelly.

Trump, Doonbeg and the Bald Eagle

IN a wide ranging interview with The Clare Champion on February 28, 2014, the then business man, Donald Trump, said that wind-farms were “destructive, destroy tourism, depreciate property values and kills birds.”

He made his comments during a telephone interview from his office in New York following his purchase of Trump International Doonbeg earlier that month.

Up to that point, he had been unaware that Clare Coastal Wind Power had submitted revised plans to Clare County Council for the construction of nine wind turbines, two kilometres south of Doonbeg village. The now President Trump outlined his deep concerns for bird life, focusing specifically on the Bald Eagle.

“They wipe out the birds,” he said of wind-farms.

“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,” Mr Trump said.

“If the wind-farms 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,” he claimed.

He maintained that he was on the same side of the fence as environmental groups.

“Even the environmentalists are against windmills now. Let us hope that gets killed and we don’t have to have the subject talked about,” he told The Clare Champion from Trump Towers in New York four years ago.

By Peter O’Connell

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