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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Niall Carson
He's building it

A 'Trump wall' will be built in County Clare

The Trump International Golf Links wants to carry out coastal erosion management works.

A TRUMP GOLF course will be allowed construct a ‘wall’ off the coast of Doonbeg in County Clare.

Clare County Council said today that it had granted permission for the “development of coastal erosion management works” at Trump International Golf Links and Hotel. The plans also cover areas at and adjacent to Carrowmore Dunes, White Strand and Doughmore Bay.

The development will see two new protection structures erected at the dunes in the area closest to the golf course.

According to the notification of the decision, the construction will include excavation of existing sand and the use of sheet piling backstops over 256 metres along the coastline.

The final structure, it adds, will be “screened from view”.

A number of conditions are also attached to the planning permission – including that access and rights of way to the beach cannot be obstructed and that an archaeologist with coastal, maritime and underwater experience is engaged.

The developer also has to pay two contributions to the council – one amounting to €25,231 to look after public infrastructure and facilities and another ‘Special Development Contribution’ of €240,000 for roads and footpath facilities which the council has deemed necessary to facilitate development at the site.


An even greater ‘wall’, costing €10 million, has long been mooted to be built at the beach by the west Clare resort to protect its grounds and golf course. It claims that up to 20 metres of dune at the edge of the course have been eroded over the past 15 years. All efforts to manage the erosion and readjust the golf course have failed, the company said.

In December 2016, Trump’s firm withdrew plans to build a €10 million rock barrier along his Clare golf course – but said they would immediately submit this new application for scaled-back plans.

Environmental activists have warned that there could be downsides to the proposed work.

“We believe that the public may not be aware that, in effect, the proposed work at Doonbeg Golf course project hasn’t really changed and still involves beach-destroying seawalls,” four international experts wrote in the Clare Champion in January.

Appeals can be made to An Bord Pleanála by first or third parties against the decision over the next four weeks. It is likely that one of the many groups  which opposed the proposals, including An Taisce, a local surf group and Friends of the Irish Environment, will take that option.

An Taisce said it will be seeking information from the minister with responsibility Josepha Madigan on what action the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) will be taking.

The Green Party said it will consider the decision before making a decision about an appeal.

“This was always about protecting the dune ecosystem and the ecology of this most sensitive coastline site,” party leader Eamon Ryan said.

“The survival of the dunes depends on the natural circulation of the dune system which includes the entire beach.

Building a barrier in the middle of the beach is going to change the whole way the dune system works. This should have been about trying to get the golf course to evolve to the changing dune system and not destroying what is a natural process.

“Of course, the ownership of the project makes this a case of public interest but the objection was made on a scientific basis and protecting ecology rather than making a political statement.

“We very much understand that there are a lot of local jobs involved from the golf course but we believe that they could be protected by working with nature rather than trying to control the natural system.”

With reporting by Seán Murray

Read: The Trumps say everyone wants to see the wall built… in Doonbeg

More: Trump hails ‘historic’ victory as Republican tax plan passes through Congress

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