WHAT does Donald’s visit mean to Clare?
At a time when rural Clare – along with many parts of rural Ireland – are suffering another blow and currently fighting for their post offices, in West Clare we’ve been served with the distraction that Trump is on his way.
So what are the pros and cons?
Well, you could argue that it means very little other than a huge burden on taxpayers just like the Pope’s visit late last month.
Granted Pope Francis’ visit meant a lot to the 200,000-odd people who went to see him – equally it did little to change the opinion of the majority who have all but given up on the Catholic institution.
But this visit, somehow, is bound to divide opinion in Ireland moreso than the head of the Catholic Church’s.
Why do we care?
You could fill a bus with controversial figure-heads, but we only seem to care what this guy is doing.
Donald Trump – as horrible an individual many believe him to be – is not a convicted criminal.
In fact as far as many people are concerned, he does more for the West Clare economy than most by employing hundreds of people in Doonbeg and the surrounding area.
Of course he should be entitled to move freely and visit a hotel which is rightfully his own business.
But then there’s the other side.
People say you don’t bite the hand that feeds you but sometimes you just have to, and that’s where the protesters come in.
It should of course be highlighted that Trump abuses his position to incite hatred against certain ‘minorities’.
But don’t we already know that, sure. What will protesters – already being called into action by the Green Party’s Eamon Ryan – achieve?
In my opinion, very, very little. We all know what Trump’s about. The more the protest groups mobilize, the more air time they get, newspaper column inches they get, the more they’ll publicise Trump’s visit.
The more we’ll all sigh. The more Trump will revel in his fuss. And he’s coming whether they like it or not. If you don’t like Trump, plan yourself a holiday for November because you won’t like living in Ireland as the first month of winter approaches.
The pussy-grabbing president appears to be on his way and he will be the distraction of the month, possibly the year.
In the meantime, those protesters could do with putting their energy into protecting the viability of rural Clare, something which means something tangible here.
Speaking up for the vulnerable in West Clare.
Maybe even, dare I say it, make Doonbeg great again.