Thursday 20 June 2019

Friends of the Earth say they will deliver 100,000 strong petition against sea wall to President Trump in Doonbeg

Mr Trump will stay at his family-owned hotel and golf resort at Doonbeg. Photo: REUTERS
Mr Trump will stay at his family-owned hotel and golf resort at Doonbeg. Photo: REUTERS

Gabija Gataveckaite

A petition with over 100,000 signatures opposing the construction of a sea wall at Trump’s golf course in county Clare will be delivered to the American president when he arrives at the course on Wednesday.

The delivery of the petition is the latest instalment in a row with environmentalists over plans to build a rock barrier at the 18-hole golf course in Doonbeg, west Clare.

Planning permission for a 38,000 tonne sea wall was granted in 2017 as Trump Hotels estimated that 15 to 20 metres of dune facing the golf course has been eroded in the last 17 years.

However, environmentalist group Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) claims that the barriers will interfere with the dune system and put protected species at risk.

The petition will be delivered to the president on a USB stick in an effort to save paper and will be attached to an A4 size board, designed to look like a hotel room key fob.

 

Due to a ‘ring of steel’ of security protecting Mr Trump on his visit, the USB and board will be passed on to Gardaí to deliver to the president.

Organiser Tony Lowes told Independent.ie that he is ‘confident’ that the guards will deliver the key fob to President Trump.

“For security reasons, we can’t go past the bridge in Doonbeg,” he said.

“The Gardaí seem very happy to facilitate protestors.

“We’re going to do our best and we’re confident that they’ll pass it on,” he said.

According to Mr Lowes, the petition was signed by people mainly from Ireland but also from around the world.

It protests the building of the sea wall, which is set to protect three holes at the course.

While the wall has the support of the local community in Doonbeg, environmental groups like FIE, An Taisce and Surfrider EU Foundation in Europe opposed the plans, which were granted by Clare County Council in 2017.

An Bord Pleanála are currently considering an appeal of the decision.

 “It is important that people realise that whatever about the understandable support for Trump locally, the destruction of the dune system is opposed world-wide”, said FIE Director Tony Lowes.

The petition is part of the #NatureTrumpsWalls campaign and consists of FIE, Save Doughmore Beach Group, Friends of the Earth Ireland, West Coast Surf Club, Irish Surfing Association, and Surfrider EU Foundation Europe.

“The growing positive economic impact of surfing to the area is being ignored, as is the value of the delicate natural ecosystem that makes Doughmore so beautiful,” said Lexi Keating of Surfriders.

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