USA's presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to build a 200,000 tonne rock wall that would 'destroy' a picturesque beach and surf spot in Ireland in order to save his multi-million pound golf resort.
On the other-side of the world from Trump's proposed wall between the USA and Mexico (yeah, that's a real thing) his Ireland-based firm that runs beach-side Doonbeg Golf Resort in County Clare, is seeking planning permission to dump large boulders on Doughmore beach, creating a wall they hope will prevent erosion of the golf course there. The reverb from that sea wall could end up spoiling one of the best beach breaks in County Clare.
Seems a bit much for a resort which Trump recently said he 'did not care about' and was 'just going to give to his kids', a plaything, of sorts, for his executives. Wasn't it the foolish man who built his house upon the sand?
The permanent destruction of a beach can never be the correct, moral and sane choiceAnyway, there's a little problem with Trumpy's plan – Doughmore is a rare 2.8km stretch of soft golden sands along Ireland's stunningly rugged Wild Atlantic Way. It's remained relatively untouched and the plan has sparked backlash from those who live near-by. So much so that Trump's been branded 't*** of the century' on Facebook group, Save Doughmore – Doonbeg beach.
Those vocalising their disdain at potential beach ruination say, in order to rectify the problem, Trump could move the golf course back from the coastline. There's enough land under Trump's control, they claim, and would be a straightforward solution. Sounds too expensive? Well, the rock armour ol' Don has proposed will cost 10 million euros.
Representatives for Trump have recently said that if the planning application is not given the go ahead then there's a real possibility the resort would close – a statement, those opposing the plan say, show willingness to bully decision makers into getting their own way.
Wouldn't the option of pushing the few impacted greens and tees back inland be a less intrusive solution? But objectors don't want the facility to close – it's their friends and neighbours who work there after-all. They are calling for a better solution than spoiling an Irish beauty spot.
Speaking to Magicseaweed one of the admins from the Save Doughmore Facebook group, Wayne, said: ''Building a wall here will probably mean flooding somewhere else and increased erosion on other sections of coast. Not to mention the reverb action sea walls create, which will destroy one of the best beach breaks in Clare.
''The permanent destruction of a beach can never be the correct, moral and sane choice. There is no risk to buildings, home or people with the erosion that has happened during the recent and largest storms on record.
''We all understand the destruction the sea can do, many of us who live along the coast have suffered from it, but wouldn't the option of pushing the few impacted greens and tees back inland be a less intrusive solution? Trump owns huge amounts of land inland from the sea, giving a lot of options for moving the course slightly.''
The plans have been slightly stalled while Clare County council investigate whether it is under their authority to grant permission for a massive facelift of the beach, or if it falls under the jurisdiction of An Bord Pleanala – Ireland's independent body that can decide planning applications impartially.
In the interim, a petition has been launched online to gather signatures that can be presented to the council to show strength of feeling within the community – it's racked up a list of more than 1,000 names opposing the rock wall.
Wayne added: ''Trump is threatening to close the facility and lay off people, if he doesn't get his way. These are scary threats, there's no question of that. The fear of our friends and neighbours losing work is very scary, and let me reiterate we are in no way trying to close the hotel and golf course, we are just asking for some ethical business practices and some sound environment practices.''
According to the nitty-gritty of the plans – the wall will not interfere with the sand dune on Doughmore. The height of the rock barrier will be around four or five metres above the beach but will not be any higher than the existing cobble bank that is facing on to the beach at the moment.
An assessment into the environmental impact of the rock armour is ongoing, but is expected to be lodged before the end of the year.
'We honestly can't see any benefits. Millions of tourists visit the west coast of Ireland every year to see the wild Atlantic, not to see huge sea walls. The same people who built a golf course on shifting sands are now the same people who think that a sea wall is the best option,'' said Wayne.
Magicseaweed contacted the Doonbeg Resort for a comment about the plans but did not receive a response.