Donald Trump’s €10m Doonbeg plan a ‘gift to the community’

Donald Trump’s €10m plan to build a coastal rock barrier to protect his links resort at Doonbeg has been described as “a gift to the community”.

Donald Trump’s €10m Doonbeg plan a ‘gift to the community’

That is according to John Flanagan, who farms 30 acres of land containing 70 cattle beside the golf resort and Doughmore beach.

“This is our shot at fixing the future. My father is 82 years of age and he has seen over half the dunes washed away during his life by the ocean,” said Mr Flanagan, whose home is located 750m from the beach.

“I would love to be able to protect my home but Mr Trump is doing it for me with the coastal protection plan. Everyone living here is in favour of the plan.

“We know Mr Trump is putting the boulders in place to protect his own property but by doing so he is protecting the 100 households that would be under threat from the sea at the two most vulnerable points.”

Mr Flanagan said the 200-tonne barrier that will stretch for 2.8km along beach “is not a wall. It is reinforcing the rocks that are already there. The beach is already full of stones.”

He said the project “is costing Mr Trump €10m — Clare County Council or the Government can’t afford to spend that money on coastal defences in this area”.

Doonbeg Community Development chairman John O’Dea said the rock plan has “the overwhelming support of the community”.

He said other communities along the Clare coast facing the threat of erosion “would be delighted to have someone pay for coastal defences to protect their homes”.

Mr O’Dea said he saw the before and after of what one 2014 storm did to the dunes.

“If you have two more storms like that, you can say goodbye to the dunes if something isn’t done now. Environmentalists talk about dunes regenerating themselves, but they won’t be able to regenerate themselves if they are washed away.

“The time for standing off and not doing anything about the threat of coastal erosion at Doonbeg is over.”

The locals made their comments as Clare County Council returned the planning application to the Trump resort at Doonbeg. It will now go before An Bord Pleanála where it will be decided if the application is a strategic infrastructure development case or not.

If the board deems that it is, it will decide on the application and the plan will not go before the council.

Mr Trump’s consultants warned that if the rock plan doesn’t get the go-ahead, the resort risks closure.

Tony Lowes, of the Friends of the Irish Environment group, criticised the application.

“The conservation objective of a designated dune system like Doonbeg is to maintain natural mobile processes. The objective of coastal protection is to stop them. Therefore, the two objectives will always be mutually exclusive.”

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