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Tuesday 22 October 2019

Trump sea wall 'will ruin beach and habitat'

The Doonbeg resort owned by Donald Trump
The Doonbeg resort owned by Donald Trump

Caroline Crawford

A group of international experts has sharply criticised the proposed sea wall at the luxury golf resort owned by Donald Trump in Doonbeg, Co Clare, warning it will result in the loss of the beach and affect its recreational value and habitats.

Experts from four universities in Ireland and the US criticised the proposed development at the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel, insisting the preferred way of dealing with the issue is to alter the golf course.

A decision will be taken by Clare County Council on the proposed sea wall on Thursday.

In a letter published in the 'Clare Champion', the group, which first objected to the proposals in January, responded to further information provided by the developer.

It claims the response is "flawed, inaccurate, and lacks valid documentation of its conclusions" adding: "There is no question that a sea wall of any size or shape or magnitude constructed on an eroding shoreline will eventually cause the loss of the beach."

The authors, Andrew G. Cooper of University of Ulster, Joseph Kelley of the University of Maine at Oronoco, William Neal of Grand Valley State University, and Orrin Pilkey, of Duke University, said the placement of a sea wall was irreversible, adding: "Sea walls never go away, they only grow longer, taller and more massive.

"We want to emphasise our absolute certainty that the proposed sea walls will destroy the beach in front of them and will increase the rate of erosion on adjacent beaches. The only question is the timing. Will it happen in a few years or will it happen in a decade or two? It will happen," they add.

The authors criticise the mathematical modelling used in a report from the resort in predicting the impact of the sea wall describing it as "simply invalid".

They say the proposed wall will also affect habitats, and the recreational value of the beach. They raised concerns about the poor example this development would set for future management of Irish shorelines.

"Clearly, the option of slightly altering the course by moving the endangered holes should be the first choice. Given the very long-term nature of the problem at Doonbeg, (the resort) is well advised to consider moving all property likely to experience erosion in the next 100 years now and prevent future crises," they stated.

The controversial rock wall plan has been scaled down from the original proposal for a 3km sea wall. The revised proposal would stretch 600 metres south and 250 metres north of Doughmore beach.

Irish Independent

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