Belfast Telegraph

Doonbeg gets in party spirit as Trump's sons enjoy pub crawl

By Cate McCurry

Donald Trump was given the biggest Irish welcome to a rural Co Clare village where locals waved American flags and some donned the Make America Great Again caps.

Shortly after the American president and his wife Melania touched down at the Doonbeg golf resort, the village erupted into a carnival-esque celebration with ceili music and Irish dancers taking over the main street.

Mr Trump is staying a short distance away in his five-star hotel where he landed in his Marine One shortly before 6.30pm yesterday.

Local residents arrived in their droves to the small village of Doonbeg to mark the visit.

A number of young men could be seen with the American flag draped over their shoulders, while American and Irish flags were erected side by side on lampposts to ensure the president was made to feel welcome.

Two of Donald Trump's sons - Eric and Donald Jr - joined locals in pubs in Doonbeg village. The men were cheered as they stopped at several bars on Wednesday night, having a go at pouring pints in one.

They posed for selfies with children outside and sampled some hospitality inside.

"It's exciting when Trump comes into town," Eric said.

He then offered to buy drinks.

"Don and I want to buy everyone cocktails tonight," he said.

Eric got the crowds gathered in the village involved in cheering for his family.

"So let me ask a question. Does Doonbeg love Trump?" he asked locals.

He was met with a huge chorus of "Yes".

Eric added: "And we love this place more than anything. So thank you guys for the hospitality. It's awesome." At one point, a priest presented the brothers with a landscape photograph.

The brothers stayed to listen to some traditional Irish music in one of the pubs.

At one point, a reporter asked Eric did he support his father's policy on climate change.

"I'm not here to talk politics," he replied. "We get a lot of love in Doonbeg, I don't see many people protesting here." He turned to the crowds and said: "Are you guys protesting?"

"No," came the loud response from locals.

Paul Markham, who lives in nearby Kilmurry McMahon, is a huge Trump supporter.

He enlisted the help of a few neighbours to make an American-inspired top hat, which he hopes will catch the attention of Mr Trump if he visits the village.

Speaking in Doonbeg, he said: "I think it's a great cead mile failte (Irish welcome) for him to Ireland and to this historic village.

"The atmosphere is building up and we are all here to welcome the Trump family, it's a great occasion.

"He's providing employment for west Clare and tourism.

"We are hoping Donald will come down from his hotel and into the village. People are waiting anxiously waiting to greet him. He'll get a great welcome."

Michael Leahy travelled the short distance from Kilrush to welcome the American president.

Wearing the Make America Great Again cap, he said: "It's a wonderful thing to have such a significant historical figure coming to this parish.

"I think he's of great significance from a point of view of world peace. He's a very peace-making president."

However, as common with most of his visits, the controversial figure attracts protesters.

Cork man John Lennon travelled to Doonbeg to express his opposition to the president.

He said: "I am ashamed that the Taoiseach (Leo Varadkar) was at Shannon airport meeting him, a man who has no respect for the truth.

"There are two homes in Ireland for foreign people to be entertained, Leinster House or Aras an Uachtarain (presidential home).

"I am embarrassed for the people of Ireland."

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