*Tommy Tubridy. Photograph: Arthur Ellis
It started with the trumpets for the 20th Doonbeg Jazz Festival and now this week the West Clare village welcomes the 45th President of the United States of America with restaurant owner and publican Tommy Tubridy noticing an increase in business since Donald Trump’s trip was announced.
“It’s fantastic with the build-up and the way we have the village put together with the bunting, streamers, the American flag and of course our own national flag, county flag and parish flag, a big community effort into it and we’re really delighted with the response of people coming here to the village since word broke that Trump is coming to Doonbeg we can see a big increase in business,” Tommy told The Clare Echo.
Between Creegh and Doonbeg, forty Gardaí are patrolling the area with several checkpoints and road closures. Tubridy confirmed the locals are looking after the huge An Garda Síochána presence in West Clare. “It’s unusual to see so many Garda but they are lovely, we’ve been chatting with them offering them cups of tea, nice home bread and the whole lot, they’re being well looked after and well catered for, they seem to be very happy at the moment”.
Donald and Melania Trump will fly to France on Thursday before returning to Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland later that night, he is expected to play a round of golf on Friday. It is unclear if he will visit the village itself. “Donald is a man you don’t know what he will do, we might get a tweet that he might stop off on the village which would be great if he did come to the village.
“All the other Presidents that came to Ireland to the place where they or their people originally came from they always visited the village. It’s unusual for Trump because the Trump family have the property here in Doonbeg, they have a tremendous resort, a tremendous golf course and a lot of money spent on it and I’d say there is going to be an awful lot more money spent on the resort as well”.
Tubridy was adamant the Trump family need to be supported not opposed in their plans for future developments at their resort. “He also has planning in there for a conference and leisure centre, when all that goes ahead in Doonbeg which is badly needed and in the west of Ireland, our own politicians are not helping the cause they should invest more in rural Ireland and keep the local communities together, if you haven’t got the local community you haven’t got anything, we have a great local community here and that’s why we are one hundred percent behind the Trump family coming to Doonbeg and we hope to have an enjoyable stay in Doonbeg and looking forward to more investment”.
If Trump does call in to the village of Doonbeg, Tubridy’s Bar and Restaurant is being tipped as the most likely destination. “It would be nice if he does go to Tubridys but if he goes to any of the other business people, I won’t be turning my nose up to it, he’s very welcome in Doonbeg. If he doesn’t come he has still put us on the world stage, we have coverage here from all over the world. There will be a big cead míle fáilte for him, I know he doesn’t drink but I’d like to put the name Trump on a pint for him or put the shamrock whichever one he’d like, maybe the man with him might have a pint of Guinness”.