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Donald Trump's Atlantic wall in Co Clare has just hit a snag

An Bord Pleanála has found against the plan.

View of the the 5th hole in Doonbeg.
View of the the 5th hole in Doonbeg.
Image: ©INPHO/Getty Image

DONALD TRUMP’S PROPOSED Atlantic wall in Co. Clare has suffered a setback after An Bord Pleanála decided that it is not a strategic infrastructure development.

The property mogul and presidential candidate bought Doonbeg Golf Club in 2014 but the course is at serious risk of storm damage and coastal erosion.

Trump-owned company TIGL Ireland Enterprise Limited wants to build a 2.8km berm on a sand dune at Carrowmore Bay to protect its investment, but the plan is opposed by conservationists.

In the latest twist in the saga, TIGL’s application to have the wall declared a strategic infrastructure development has been denied by An Bord Pleanála.

Rightly so, argues Tony Lowes of Friends of the Irish Environment.

“What happened was the local authority tried to get shot of the decision-making role by suggesting that the developer had descended to the board (An Bord Pleanála) and see if it came under this things called the Strategic Infrastructure Act. Then the board looked at it and decided that this had nothing to do with the strategic infrastructure of Ireland,” he said.

It was suggested that because of the length of the wall that it constitutes an infrastructure project, but it doesn’t. I mean the infrastructure act was intended to fast-track projects by avoiding the local authority stage, for big projects that are important to the national interest. But this is just a golf club.

Examinations of the dunes show that they are being eroded at a pace of about 0.7m per year. Trump aims to stop that with a 5.5-6.5m high barrier but the exact location of those defences has been the subject of debate.

In its decision, An Bord Pleanála makes reference to Doonbeg Golf Club and Resort being a “valuable economic asset to County Clare”. Despite this, it was decided that it was not a strategic infrastructure development:

It is noted that the golf resort is located along the Wild Atlantic Way, however, it is a private facility which does not attract passing tourist trade on any sort of regional scale.Although the proposed development seeks to protect existing local economic resources in the area, the proposed new berm structure and armoustone in its own right would not be of strategic economic or social importance to the State or the region in which it would be situate.

Read: Roll back by Trump on Doonbeg resort works welcomed by conservationists >

Read: Trump: I’m bringing hundreds of jobs — and yes, I’ll be a friend of the snail >

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