The fawning reception for US tycoon Donald Trump on his arrival in Shannon Airport yesterday has raised the hackles of the Irish media. Trump was met by a string quartet in full evening wear, a red carpet and Ireland's Finance Minister as he disembarked his plane in the early morning.
The Irish Times wrote "How depressing. The preposterous welcome conferred upon a man who had done nothing more than help himself to a cut-price property deal was the worst kind of forelock tugging."
Yet there stood Minister for Finance Michael Noonan with nothing better to do.
The Irish Examiner stated that "It is a pity that nearky every occasion like this provokes pathetic gombeenism of the shabbiest and most insecure kind.."
On his now infamous arrival Donald Trump pledged to invest over $50 million in the Irish economy.
The tycoon is aiming to create "hundreds of jobs" at his Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland, at Doonbeg, in Co Clare.
Trump said his new acquisition is going to be "truly iconic" and his reasoning was as simple as the fact that he doesn't have "enough time left" to do the "boring" things.
He told reporters he's hoping to "sneak out" later this evening for a round of golf. He said by the time he's finished bringing the Doonbeg resort up to what it should be, he will have doubled or tripled his initial investment.
His arrival was greeted at the end of the red-carpet by Finance Minister Michael Noonan, County Clare Mayor Joe Arkins,, and a three-piece group of musicians – who sang, fiddled and played the harp – as Trump stepped down to the tarmac alongside his two sons, Ed and Donald Jnr, and daughter Ivanka.
The siblings took to Twitter to voice their delight at being at the hub of the new Co Clare Empire. Eric shared this tweet to his followers.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) May 12, 2014
While sister Ivanka had this to say.
According to media reports in Ireland the outspoken billionaire said that he will be a friend of the snail, that environmentalists need not worry that his plans for the Doonbeg resort will not hamper conservation efforts.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) May 12, 2014
TheJournal.ie reports that when questioned on the snail at a press conference the tycoon said, “The snail issue is an issue that will go on — and we’ll be very protective of it. We want to work together with certain environmental people — but they’ve been terrific, and as you know we’ve already got lots of approvals,” he told the first questioner. But when the snail came up later in the conference, Trump seemed a little less effusive about the tiny gastropod, which is protected by strict environmental measures.
“You see — when they originally came they said that one snail is endemic to that one spot, it’s not anywhere else. Now they’ve found it’s all over — it’s all over the world.
He also said he'll be looking for other investments in which to invest his money in Ireland.
Trump added, "Ireland is a special place and I love Ireland and I love the country and it was an opportunity that was presented to us but I had been looking at this property for a long time," he said.
But he said the work he carries out on the course, including efforts to protect it from further coastal erosion, will be environmentally sensitive.
“It’s not what they thought it was, but nevertheless we’ll be working with them [the community] to do what’s proper.”
The Trump family will spend three days in Co Clare and will be taking a very hands-on approach to the project which has now been renamed Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland.