Monday 22 July 2019

'A Secret Service agent came over to tell us' - Trump meets local schoolchildren before round of golf at Doonbeg Resort

Trump pictured with the school children and their teachers Photo: White House
Trump pictured with the school children and their teachers Photo: White House
Big deal: US President Donald Trump at Shannon Airport on Thursday. Photo: AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Leo Varadkar (left) greets US President Donald Trump. Picture: PA
Protesters fly the Trump baby blimp over Parnell Square, Dublin. Photos: Gerry Mooney; Clodagh Kilcoyne; Caroline Quinn and PA
Stars and gripes: an American flag flies in front of Doonbeg Golf Club in Co Clare

Ralph Riegel and Nicola Anderson in Doonbeg

US President Donald Trump took time out during his round of golf at his Doonbeg Resort to meet local Clare schoolchildren and their teachers.

President Trump is playing a foursome round at the Clare course with weather conditions having dramatically improved from early morning when heavy showers threatened his golf outing.

However, skies cleared and the New York politician enjoyed glorious sunshine for his round of golf before he prepared to depart Shannon Airport for Washington on Air Force One.

During his round of golf, the President greeted a number of primary schoolchildren and their teachers.

Clohanes National School principal, Aideen O'Mahoney, and three other teachers had taken a strategic position close to the school which overlooks the ninth fairway at Doonbeg.

The primary school is located less than 1km from the luxury golf resort.

Aideen's family farms adjacent to the Doonbeg course - and she knew precisely where to get the best view of the Presidential party as they played golf.

"There were four teachers and 27 children," she said.

"We were looking out over the course when a Garda and a Secret Service agent came over to us."

"They told us President Trump wanted to meet the teachers and the children."

"Then we were told that he would come to meet us rather than us going to meet him."

President Trump happily posed for photos with the teachers which included Michelle Crowley, Mary Crowley and Theresa Clancy.

"It was very, very nice of him," she said.

"He was lovely to us and really nice to the children."

"Everyone was really delighted to get to meet him."

"Everyone was gobsmacked."

He spent ten minutes with the children and insisted the White House photographers take pictures and send them to the school.

The President was golfing with Doonbeg manager, Joe Russell.

Adding another close family connection to the Presidential visit to Doonbeg for Aideen was the fact her nephew, Sean Conway, was acting as caddy for President Trump during his round of golf.

"It was amazing," she said.

However, other schoolchildren were disappointed when First Lady Melania Trump didn't attend Doonbeg National School as widely rumoured in the village overnight.

A large media entourage including photographers, reporters and TV crews gathered at the school from 9am awaiting a visit that never materialised.

Principal Neil Crowley said a Presidential visit to the school would have been "a dream come true."

"We were all very excited to hear that there might be a visit by the First Lady," he said

The school has three teachers and a total of 52 children.

"The (Trump) involvement in the resort has been very good to the area.

"We have seen a lot of jobs created locally and have seen the number of children here at the school increase as a result. It has definitely brought people into the area."

Online Editors

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