Wednesday 21 August 2019

'Once in a lifetime experience' - pubs in Doonbeg reeling after Trump brothers visit

Eric Trump, the son of US President Donald Trump, pours drinks and meets locals in the village of Doonbeg in Co Clare, on the first day of US President Donald Trump's visit to the Republic of Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Eric Trump, the son of US President Donald Trump, pours drinks and meets locals in the village of Doonbeg in Co Clare, on the first day of US President Donald Trump's visit to the Republic of Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Donald Trump's sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr. visit a local pub in Doonbeg, Co Clare. Picture: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Eric Trump, son of US President Donald Trump, behind the bar in Madigan's pub in the village of Doonbeg, Co Clare, on the first day of US President Donald Trump's visit to the Republic of Ireland. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Gabija Gataveckaite

Pub owners in Doonbeg in Clare say they have been left reeling after Wednesday's visits from Trump brothers, Eric and Donald Junior.

The pair dropped into some of the local pubs, bought a couple of rounds and even tried their hand at pulling a few pints.

The duo dropped into The Igoe Inn Bar and Restaurant, Tubridy's Bar and Restaurant, Morrisseys Seafood Bar and Grill, Comeford’s Pub and Madigan's Bar.

While they bought the crowd drinks, they declined to drink themselves.

Co-owner of The Igoe Inn Caroline Kennedy told Independent.ie how the visit was a ‘once in a lifetime experience’.

 “They were very calm and very relaxed and not pompous at all,” she said.

Donald Trump Jr. (left) and Eric Trump, the sons of US President Donald Trump, pour drinks and meet locals in the village of Doonbeg in Co Clare, on the first day of US President Donald Trump's visit to the Republic of Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Donald Trump Jr. (left) and Eric Trump, the sons of US President Donald Trump, pour drinks and meet locals in the village of Doonbeg in Co Clare, on the first day of US President Donald Trump's visit to the Republic of Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire

“The pub was packed to capacity and we need more nights like that.

“It was absolutely a once in a lifetime experience and it’s great publicity for Doonbeg,” she added.

While the Trumps may draw in criticism, Ms Kennedy said that the family’s hotel and golf business has had a massive knock on effect in the area.

“They’re the biggest employer in west Clare and there’s no-one from Ireland that’s doing the same so we’re not going to knock their brand,” she said.

“The golf club brings in restaurants and supports other businesses and it has a huge knock-on effect in the town.”

Tommy Tubridy's, the owner of Tubridy's Bar and Restaurant, said that him and his staff were ‘well prepared’ for the visit.

“We knew they were coming from about midday,” he said. “We were all fully staffed and ready and the whole town is kitted out, with a banner reading ‘Cead mile fáilte’.

“They’re very down to earth people and they got a fantastic reception,” he added.

Tubridy's bar was also packed to the brim when the brothers dropped in.

“We had to let them in our private entrance,” Mr Tubridy added.

He hopes that the opening of a leisure centre in Doonbeg later on in the year will attract President Trump himself not only to return to the town, but to drop in too.

“You never know when he may call down but it was fantastic having [the Trumps] and we hope to see them again soon,” he said.

Hugh McNally, the owner Morrissey’s Seafood Bar and Grill, said that it would be a pleasure to host President Trump in the future.

“It would be an absolute honour to host him,” he said.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, the Trumps are the biggest investor in our area, and they have been long before the presidency.”

He said that Trump family members make their way down the town to visit some of the local businesses each time they’re in Clare.

“They’ve been in Morrissey’s more than half a dozen times,” said Mr McNally.

“I didn’t exactly know that they would be coming yesterday but I had a feeling as they made a point of dropping in every single time they’re here.”

Madigan's Pub saw the turnout of 70 to 80 people, according to co-owner Emily Madigan.

"We knew they were doing a tour of the village and so a couple of minutes before we knew they'd be coming in," she said.

"We were happy to see the brothers come in and it was their first time in the pub," she said.

Comeford’s Pub also received a visit from the brothers but declined to comment when contacted by Independent.ie.

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