Wednesday 13 December 2017

'A great day for Doonbeg and a great day for Ireland' - Staff at golf resort send personal message of congratulations to Donald Trump

Ralph Riegel in Doonbeg

Staff at Donald Trump's Doonbeg golf resort in Clare send a personal message of congratulations to him and his family on the Republican's astonishing upset victory in the US Presidential election.

 Doonbeg managing director, Joe Russell, said it was "a great day for Doonbeg, a great day for Clare and a great day for Ireland."

 "This is huge for Clare and, I think, particularly for Shannon Airport in terms of the tourism and business opportunities it offers," he said.

 Mr Russell, who has been manager of the Doonbeg resort for 13 years and plays golf with Mr Trump when he visits, stayed up throughout the night to watch the astonishing victory unfold.

 Not surprisingly, the resort phone threatened to melt today with calls from all over the world about Mr Trump's astonishing defeat of Hillary Clinton.

 "Yesterday I would refer to him as 'Mr Trump' but I suppose from today I will be calling him 'Mr President'. We even knew he was going to run for the presidency a few days before he announced it in the US," he added.

Joe Russell Credit: Ralph Riegel
Joe Russell Credit: Ralph Riegel

 Mr Russell said he was particularly delighted for Mr Trump's children, Eric, Donald Jnr and Ivanka who played such a key role in the presidential campaign and who effectively help run Doonbeg.

 There was also an indicator of future good fortune during that Irish visit last year when Mr Trump scored an incredible shot on the 18th during his round of golf to halve the match.

 "He was delighted with the shot and I think he could have floated back to Shannon Airport rather than being driven."

 Doonbeg has 188 bedrooms and Mr Russell said the Trump family have exciting plans for the resort.

 "There is a proposal to develop a ballroom and a conference centre," he said.

 "I think it is important to say that everything Mr Trump says he is going to do he delivers on."

Joe Russell Credit: Ralph Riegel
Joe Russell Credit: Ralph Riegel

 Mr Russell also took issue with the depiction of Mr Trump in the media.

 He said his boss listens avidly to his advisors and staff - and is extremely polite and kind when visiting his properties.

 "He has that gentle side - a human side."

 Mr Russell said the New York billionaire likes to take time during his trips to Ireland to chat with staff both in his hotel and within his golf course management team.

 He will then head to the hotel bar or restaurant for a meal of fish and chips or a bowl of seafood chowder.

 "The only thing I also noticed from the start is that he always says 'thanks' to staff and is unfailingly polite and courteous."

 "He certainly has been great for Doonbeg."

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