Tuesday 21 November 2017

US presidential candidate Donald Trump dismisses his Doonbeg investment as 'small potatoes' that his kids can play with

Donald Trump at Doonbeg golf resort
Donald Trump at Doonbeg golf resort
US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump on a recent visit to the five-star property in Co Clare, which has been rebranded as the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland
US tycoon Donald Trump
Donald Trump's golf course in Doonbeg
Finance Minister Michael Noonan meeting Donald Trump. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has dismissed his investment at the Doonbeg, Co Clare golf resort at a rally in the US.

The billionaire Republican candidate was speaking at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

He asked the crowd if they had heard about Doonbeg - which shares developers with Kiawah.

"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 perfecto and now it’s doing great. But I don’t care about that stuff anymore. 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.”

Read more: Trump's Doonbeg racks up €2.5m loss as revamp continues

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 is generating annual revenue of about $10m (€11.4m).

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

Read more: Is Trump's fortune big enough to withstand the damage his mouth does

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

Mr Trump took umbrage when he was asked by RTE's Sean O'Rourke about his distinctive quiff in a robust interview - 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 in to 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 while Bloomberg valued it at a lower level of $3bn.

(Speech begins at 58minutes)

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