A second proposal by Trump to build a wall near his golf course in Doonbeg has been met with objections by multiple Irish environmental groups.
The proposal put forward by Trump International Golf Links Enterprises Ireland Ltd. would see a 38,000 tonne wall built adjacent to and west of the Trump International Golf Hotel. The submission has been met with criticism by members of the West Coast Surf Club and Friends of the Irish Environment.
David Flynn, chair of West Coast Surf Club said that the new wall would “result in further works being required in the medium term as you are now attempting to ‘fix’ a section of a dynamic ecosystem which will exacerbate the erosion near the ends of the fixed length”.
“The relationship of the sediment transfer between the beach and dune system gets interrupted leading to damage to both, nature seeks equilibrium”.
The new proposal was submitted on the 22nd of December 2016, with Trump resigning as director of TIGL on the 19th of January 2017 to focus on his responsibilities as President.
However, David Flynn played down the significance of Trump as President making a difference to the proposal:
“We do not approach from a political angle [….] I would hope that Clare County Council do not take it into account either, they have shown an educated focus on dealing with the applications to date”.
Another environmental group, Friends of the Irish Environment, echoed many of these concerns in their objection statement to the Clare County Council.
In the statement, FIE said that “Physical barriers can lead to beach starvation resulting in increased rates of erosion and over stabilisation of the embryonic shifting dunes as well as separating their tide line origin from their development into white dunes, and successively great grey dunes, resulting in fossilization of the once dynamic dune system”.
Spokesperson for Friends of the Irish Environment, Tony Lowes, claimed that Trump being President would be beneficial for the group’s cause, while playing down its impact on the proposal itself:
“I think the main effect is to raise the application from relative obscurity into one of international significance. That offers us to put Irish coastal defence policies under the spotlight.”
“The Irish planning system is fairly independent and I don’t think will be unduly influenced in what it decides. Even if it was open to public pressure, there are probably as many opposed to Trump as support him”.
TIGL were unavailable to comment on the matter and a decision on the proposal by Clare County Council is expected on the 23rd of February
By Andrew Ryan