Business Irish

Thursday 22 March 2018

Doonbeg is just 'small potatoes', says Trump

Doonbeg Golf Course. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Doonbeg Golf Course. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Donald Trump. Photo: AP
Ivanka Trump. Photo: Getty
Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has described his golf course in Doonbeg, Co Clare, as "small potatoes".

The billionaire Republican candidate dismissed his investment at a rally in the US, adding that he'll let his kids "have fun with it".

Trump was speaking at Kiawah Island in South Carolina when he asked the crowd if they had heard about Doonbeg, which he renamed 'Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland'.

"I bought it a number of years ago and during the downturn in Ireland I made a good investment. It is an incredible place," Mr Trump said.

"We spent a lot of money on making it just perfect and now it's doing great. But I don't care about that stuff any more. It is like small potatoes, right," Mr Trump said in comments broadcast on live US TV.

"I'll let my kids run it, have fun with it, let my executives have a good time, but I don't care about it. I care about making America great again. That's what I care about."

In documents filed last year by Mr Trump in connection with his presidential campaign, he placed a €23m valuation on the Greg Norman-designed resort. He also said it was generating annual revenue of about $10m (€11.4m).

Recently filed accounts showed that Doonbeg hit the rough in the first year under the billionaire's ownership, racking up a €2.5m loss.

Mr Trump courted controversy on his most recent visit to Ireland.

He took umbrage when he was asked about his distinctive quiff in a robust interview by RTÉ's Seán O'Rourke.

He reportedly later took the presenter to task over the line of questioning.

And Finance Minister Michael Noonan came under fire for being part of a welcoming committee for Mr Trump when the businessman flew into Shannon Airport on his Boeing 757 jet - emblazoned with the logo of Trump International - along with his sons Donald Jnr and Eric and daughter Ivanka.

'Forbes Magazine' estimates Mr Trump's fortune at around $4.5bn (€4bn), while Bloomberg valued it at a somewhat lower level of $3bn.

Irish Independent

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