‘Donald Trump's win has really put Doonbeg on the map’

West Clare Village celebrates close links to ‘number one and two’ in the White House, writes Gordon Deegan
‘Donald Trump's win has really put Doonbeg on the map’
Doonbeg Golf Club: General manager, Joe Russell said having number one and two in the White House will be good for the resort

A red and white ‘Make America Great Again’ peaked cap was hanging on the door of Morrissey’s bar in Doonbeg with a hand-written message underneath telling passersby ‘Gone Celebrating, Hugh’.

The Trump campaign cap was the only visible sign in the west Clare village of the historic ‘one-two’ that the village had recorded in the shock US presidential election result.

The man who signed the message is owner of Morrissey’s bar, Hugh McNally who is related to the new vice president elect of the United States, governor of Indiana, Mike Pence.

Governor Pence is a nephew of Mr McNally’s grand aunt. In an interview yesterday, Mr McNally said: “We are thrilled — not just for the Pences — but for the village of Doonbeg to be associated so closely with a new president of the United States.”

Mr McNally said he had already been in contact with the Pence family to offer his congratulations after staying up all night to watch the election result unfold.

A poster on the gable of a cottage in Doonbeg, Co Clare. Picture: Eamon Ward
A poster on the gable of a cottage in Doonbeg, Co Clare. Picture: Eamon Ward

It is three years since Governor Pence and his family stayed at the resort in Doonbeg and ate at Morrissey’s pub on a number of occasions.

Mr McNally said: “Mike came down to see us on two occasions with his family. They sent photos over to us of the time we spent together after they arrived back home.

Describing his vice president elect relative, Mr McNally said: “There are no airs and graces about him.

“You wouldn’t know he was a governor. He is absolutely normal, very chatty — a real family man.”

Mr McNally remarked: “We might all go over to the White House when they are there.”

And Mr McNally said he didn’t really go celebrating early yesterday but had to complete a number of work tasks.

“I might celebrate later when I get home.”

Doonbeg Golf Club: General manager, Joe Russell said having number one and two in the White House will be good for the resort
Doonbeg Golf Club: General manager, Joe Russell said having number one and two in the White House will be good for the resort

Two miles away down the road at the Trump resort, General Manager, Joe Russell said: “To have the number one and two in the White House — it is going to be good for the resort. You can see the impact Obama had on Moneygall.”

After enjoying the resort’s best year to date, Mr Russell said: “I think it is going to be great through raising Doonbeg’s profile. We got the Wild Atlantic Way, we got Trump, we got Shannon Airport, it is not only good for us, it is great for the region.”

Mr Russell added: “From my own experience from what I have observed, Mr Trump listens, he takes other people’s opinions into account and then he makes a decision and gets on with it.”

He said: “I know there is a media persona that you see but when it comes to decision making and comes to hard work and energy, he is massive in that regard. There is no doubt about it, he will have an impact on America and America needs a good shake-up and I think he will do that.”

Mr Russell said there was huge excitement amongst staff and the wider community over the result.

“All credit to Mr Trump. We are just delighted for him and his family. His win has really put put Doonbeg on the map.”

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