*Doughmore. Photograph: Arthur Ellis
AN ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP has threatened legal action against Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Doonbeg.
Friends of the Irish Environment have made a complaint to Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan (GP) following the erection of a sand fence in front of the dunes at Doughmore Beach in Doonbeg.
Made up of large wooden poles placed into the ground adjacent to the sand dunes, the sand fence has caught the attention of the environmental group who successfully opposed a previous attempt to place rock armour along the dunes in Doughmore. Signs indicate that their addition is to prevent the public ‘walking on the dunes’.
Tony Lowes, Director with Friends of the Irish Environment said “the placement of signs with Clare County Council logos along the fence appears to indicate that the structure is approved by the Local Authority. However, Council emails seen by Friends of the Irish Environment explain that the signs were provided as in previous years with the approval of the NPWS but that it appears Trumps used signs on what they put up which is not right”.
He believed there were dealing with an organisation that “didn’t seem to be able to admit they had lost”. Tony stated, “After a previous attempt to construct rock armour to protect their golf course, it was made very clear by the authorities that the Trump organisation is not permitted to put up any constructions that prevent the natural evolution of the dunes. Yet they have done so here, even trying to mislead the public into believing that the works are authorised by the local authority”.
Lowes confirmed that FIE has contacted Junior Minister Noonan asking him “initiate enquiries into this issue, as the only recourse left to us is to reluctantly use our limited resources to issue legal proceedings which we only do when all other avenues have been exhausted”. He noted the international attention received by the Doonbeg resort.
One of West Clare’s biggest employers, Trump Doonbeg has a staff of 300 during high-season with the figure dropping to 100 over the winter months.