US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump caused controversy last year when he said he would build a wall along America’s border with Mexico if he were elected.
Now the Republican candidate is hoping to build another wall – this time on an Irish golf course.
Mr Trump purchased Doonbeg Golf Resort, Co. Clare, in 2012 and has applied for planning permission to erect a three kilometre-long coastal defence barrier. The wall would be made of quarried limestone, be up to five metres above beach level and up to 15 metres wide.
His organisation claims that a series of storms, which led to five holes being out of service, has rendered the course “unplayable and inoperable”. This, it said, has put the “asset and business in a state of emergency”.
But Mr Trump’s plans have been met with strong opposition from environmentalists who say that the wall would damage the coast’s landscape.
Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) said the proposed wall would kill the dune system – a system they secured protection for when they went to the High Court in 2000. Tony Lowes, who took that case, said: “Not only would this wall fossilise the dunes behind it, but it would prevent the sand from the eroding dunes reaching the beach, starving the beach of its natural nourishment.”
According to the FIE, the legally binding Conservation Objectives for the EU protected nature conservation site, published in 2014, also prohibits any construction on the dune system.
“If permission were to be granted for this monstrous proposal, there is no doubt that the European Commission would bring an action against Ireland for damaging the protected site, potentially leading to fines of €25,000 to €30,000 a day from the European Court of Justice,” Mr Lowes said.
“These are fines that the Irish taxpayer would have to pay – not Mr. Trump.”