DONALD Trump was back in Doonbeg at the weekend, inspecting Trump International Golf Links & Hotel.
While an earlier visit saw Trump welcomed to Ireland by musicians on the runway at Shannon and the Minister for Finance, last weekend seems to have been more low key.
On Monday Managing Director Joe Russell said; “He (Trump) arrived on Saturday evening, he was here on Saturday and Sunday night and left on Monday morning and went on to Scotland. As you know he has acquired Turnberry and he’s there now and going on to Aberdeen for the rest of the week.”
Regarding the time spent by Trump at Doonbeg, Mr Russell said; “On Saturday evening we did a tour of the golf course for a couple of hours. We had Martin Hawtree who’s working on our golf course design, he has done a lot of work on Lahinch over the last number of years. Martin was with us, head pro Brian Shaw, myself, a couple of maintenance guys. We spent three to four hours there on Saturday evening and we came in about 9.30 or ten o’clock. Yesterday we played golf, had lunch, talked about business and how things are, that was it really, it was fairly relaxed and a nice visit for him.”
He said that plans haven’t yet been made for changes to the course. “That remains to be seen, we haven’t finalised anything on that front at all yet, we’re just talking about ideas and concepts.”
The summer is going quite well at Doonbeg, he added; “Yeah, it’s busy enough now, between weddings and business coming through. The weather is great and that really helps. People are in good form, it’s stunning out here at the moment.”
Around 230 people are currently working at Doonbeg, which he said isn’t very different to 2013. “It’s in or around the same. We certainly have more on the golf course than we had this time last year, there’s a lot of work going on there in terms of maintenance after getting hammered over the winter.”
He said that the improvement seen over the last 18 months at Shannon Airport is helping things at Doonbeg and in the wider tourism sector. “I think tourism is up all over because of what they’re doing in Shannon. They are giving a new feel of positivity to the region, they’re to be really commended in that regard. What’s happening in Shannon is super.”