Billionaire Donald Trump is backing Ireland’s fight back from the Celtic Tiger collapse – and he’s happy to put his money where his mouth is.
The cash rich American tycoon is confident that his purchase of the Doonbeg golf resort will turn it one of the world’s top attractions.
And he has told the Sunday World that he would not have invested in Ireland had he not thought the country was moving forward.
Trump paid almost $20 million for the five star golf resort on the Atlantic coastline in Clare and plans to invest another $40 million on the project.
He wants to establish the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland as one of Europe’s top resorts and believes the recovery in the Irish economy will help him achieve that aim.
Trump said: “I think your economy is really ready to go up, and big. I think that you’ve gone through the worst of it; you’ve gone through very hard times.
“Almost worse than any other nation, but I think Ireland has great people and is a great country and I think you’re really ready to surge forward.
“This is a big investment, don’t forget, I bought it perhaps for the right price but I’m going to spend tremendous amounts of money on making Trump’s international golf links and hotel one of the great destinations of the world.
"And it’s going to bring tourism and it’s going to bring jobs, so I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t think Ireland was heading in the right direction.
“Because the worst thing you can do is buy something for the right price but you’re in a country that’s going in the wrong direction.”
The US Apprentice boss also spoke about Ireland’s lucrative tax deals for foreign investors.
He said: “The Irish are very smart and they’re very sharp and I’ve dealt with them all my life, believe me, and nobody’s smarter and the Irish economy is ready to surge.
“It already is in all fairness, I mean, about a year ago I started seeing things happen and it is surging and I think you’re going to go from having a really hard time to being a world leader.
“I really believe that, you’re whole tax policy and your whole incentivise policy is the right thing.”
“I think so and many companies have moved to Ireland, I mean I see companies all the time, ‘where are you going?’ ‘we’re moving to Ireland’, ‘you are? Why?’ and they talk about the tax incentive.”