‘If he was president, it’d be different’ - No Trump card for Donald's Doonbeg visit

How will the controversial billionaire be received in Co Clare?

Donald Trump, Doonbeg, Co Clare, visit, tourism, events, Trump International Doonbeg

File photo of US tycoon Donald Trump at Shannon Airport in 2014 | Image: Niall Carson / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Businessman Donald Trump will be going head-to-head for the presidency of the United States.

He has come in for criticism over his comments on immigrants, women and the media.

But all this will come to Irish shores later this month, as he visits his hotel in Co Clare.

His  visit to the Trump International Doonbeg is expected to happen on Friday June 24th.

In a series of tweets last week he  said that he will arrive in Scotland on June 22nd - after which he will visit Doonbeg “the magnificent resort fronting on the Atlantic Ocean”.

The visit is said to be worth millions to the local economy, as “millions of Americans will tune in to watch the US Presidential candidate’s press conferences from Doonbeg”, according to the Clare People.

Journalist Stuart Holly said the figure relates to “advertising Co Clare to millions in the US”.

“There will be media coverage across Europe and the UK”.

An average of 15 million people tune into his events in the US, and Dooneg will be the backdrop for two days.

Mr Holly also said there is a lot of goodwill towards Mr Trump in the area.

“He employs 300 people in peak season – he’d definitely be one of the two largest employers in west Clare”.

'People who want to come down and protest'

Clare County Council say it has "no plans to host an event or ceremony on the proposed visit of Donald Trump". 

While Tourism Ireland say at present, they have no events planned to coincide with his visit.

A spokesperson told Newstalk.com: “We haven’t really given it much thought – we have so much going on at the moment with the ‘Game of Thrones’ campaign and the Euros”.

The spokesperson also said that if Mr Trump was US president, the situation would be different.

“If he was elected president we would (have a programme of events), like we did for Obama”.

And the chairman of Doonbeg Community Development, John O’Dea said nothing is in the pipeline as yet.

“There won’t be anything in particular”, he said.

“The (Trump) Golf Club itself will be pristine I’m sure, and that’s his own...but it’s early days”.

He suggested some events may be planned as the visit comes closer, but that the recent Doonbeg International Jazz Festival is still fresh on everybody’s minds.

“It was probably the best weekend we ever had for it”, he said, due to the good weather.

But Mr O’Dea also acknowledged that there may be some disruption during Mr Trump’s stay.

“There might be people who want to come down and protest, but that’s their right”.

Security plan

It comes as several political parties have said that they will stage protests during the visit.

And a Fianna Fáil TD has said Donald Trump could be a western government's “worst nightmare”.

John Lahart also noted that the visit comes at the same time as US Vice President Joe Biden, adding: “You can imagine where the caravan of journalists is going to go – and I’d imagine Trump has probably thought that through”.

It is believed that garda headquarters will be meeting with the American embassy this week to carry out assessments before a security team is briefed on the visit.

Mr Trump is expected to arrive at Shannon Airport before being driven to Trump International.

However his route to and from Doonbeg will not be revealed - and it is expected Mr Trump will be accompanied by the US Secret Service.