*Mick O’Dea, Tommy Comerford, James Griffin & Paul Markham in Doonbeg on Wednesday. Photograph: Martin Connolly
As Doonbeg basked in international media coverage due to the visit of US President Donald Trump, locals were determined to display a positive and attractive image of the West Clare village to reap the benefit for the years ahead.
On Wednesday night, Doonbeg Community Development hosted a céilí in the centre of the village with music and dance which was “a celebration of what we have to offer while we have such coverage” according to one key member of the local group.
Over the visit, paddle boats on the lakes were open free to the public for those successful in navigating past the major Garda presence in West Clare. Cathal Blunnie, secretary of Doonbeg Community Development outlined why such events were taking place.
“What we would like to see happen is that while the media are in town that ye see what we have available and to offer. Hopefully the rest of the world will see what we have to offer and might decide to come and visit”.
Of the work conducted by the group throughout the year, the Kilrush man stated, “Doonbeg Community Development are a very active group, constantly trying to promote the village, the upkeep of the village and ensure that there is a strong future for the village. With that in mind, between your Tidy Towns, fishery projects, pier projects, loop walks, cycle areas, constantly trying to develop the village and improve it for the community”.
When it comes to the impact of the Presidential visit, Cathal said, “For Doonbeg, for West Clare it is massive because there isn’t a person that I could pick out anywhere that doesn’t know where Doonbeg is and that has got to be a good thing”.