Thursday 22 March 2018

Billionaire Donald Trump is confident that Ireland is ready for ‘a big comeback’

Donald Trump and RTE's Sean O'Rourke
Donald Trump and RTE's Sean O'Rourke

Anita McSorley

Billionaire Donald Trump has "confidence in Ireland" and the country is about to "make a comeback".

In an interview broadcast on Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio One, the billionaire spoke about his plans to invest up to €45m at his Trump International Gold Links and Hotel Ireland at Doonbeg in Co Clare. He bought the site, originally worth €300m, for €15m.

“I think Ireland is really ready for a big comeback. If I didn’t have confidence in Ireland I would never have made this big investment. They are tremendous people and it’s a tremendous country.”

The property mogul said that buying Doonbeg created a great international image for Ireland.

“I get disproportional publicity and it’s all over the world to say that I bought Doonbeg and invested in Ireland. I have a lot of friends in New York in the highest level of finance who love Ireland and have their eye on Ireland.”

Mr Trump also spoke about his plans to buy the golf course a few years ago

“I sent a group of architects over to study the clubhouse three to four years ago. We tried to buy it and they thought I was kidding.”

The tycoon plans to put €45m ‘or more’ into the resort.

“I could leave the course the way it is and save a lot of money and I will do just fine, or I could spend a tremendous amount of money and build a tremendous course that is of the highest worldwide standards.

“We’re going to reshape it and make it and make it one of the greatest golf courses in the world,” he said.

He heaped praise upon the resort saying that it is “one of the most beautiful pieces of land anywhere in the world” and that “it couldn’t be replicated”.

The Doonbeg resort currently employs 250 people and he promised their jobs would be kept, as well as suggesting that employment could double.

Talking about a similar site he bought in Aberdeen eight years ago, he admitted it had fallen short of everything promised, however he blames it on the Scottish Government.

“It’s their fault and they understand that. I built a course far better than what I said I’d do. I built a troubled resort in a troubled country and made it successful. The government lied to me. They said they’re going to build massive wind turbines all over the place which is certainly bad for birds let alone tourism.”

Mr Trump has previously dabbled in politics and didn’t rule out running for presidency, saying “stranger things have happened”

“We have a big election coming up in November and after that I will decide.”

Irish Independent

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