Belfast Telegraph

Trump denies snub after Ireland is left off his tour itinerary

By Ed Carty

Donald Trump yesterday insisted he had not snubbed Ireland amid reports his transatlantic trip to his golf resorts had been cut short.

The billionaire challenger for the US presidency announced to great fanfare 10 days ago that he would fly into the renowned Doonbeg golf links in Co Clare late next week after visiting his investments in Scotland.

But the west of Ireland stop-off was believed to have been cut when the outspoken tycoon's travel schedule was released on Tuesday.

The itinerary was stripped of any mention of Ireland, where Mr Trump's comments about banning Muslims from visiting the United States and building a wall on the border with Mexico have been branded racist and dangerous.

Amid the rumours, Mr Trump's office in New York said the Doonbeg leg of the trip was still being worked on.

"It is purely a scheduling issue and we still hope to make a stop in Ireland if time allows," a spokesman insisted. "The details of Mr Trump's itinerary have not been finalised.

Staff at Mr Trump's luxurious Doonbeg hotel and golf resort said they heard the rumours that the trip had been cancelled, but it is also understood they had received no formal instructions ahead of his arrival.

Mr Trump's visit was also expected to clash with US Vice President Joe Biden's trip to Ireland in an uncomfortable coincidence for the governments in Dublin and in Washington.

After the tycoon bought Doonbeg for about €15m (£11.6m) and visited in 2014, the red carpet was rolled out for him, with Finance Minister Michael Noonan among dignitaries who waited on the Tarmac in Shannon to shake his hand.

Mr Trump vowed to invest up to €45 (£35m) at his Irish resort, a renowned links overlooking the Atlantic.

But his plans to protect the delicate dunes from increasingly severe winter storms have been disrupted, and planners are currently considering his proposals for a wall - this time to keep out the advancing sea.

There is also a right of way for surfers through the course.

Protests had been planned for his arrival, including by leading Left-wing and green politicians, along with other campaigners.

It is not clear what reception if any would have been laid on for him in government circles this time after Taoiseach Enda Kenny made a damning criticism of his attitudes to immigration and branded some comments from the presidential campaign as "racist and dangerous".

Belfast Telegraph

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