Would Donald Trump be the first president to own major property in Ireland?

We are long used to top American politicians landing in Ireland to visit family homesteads or home towns, or ancestral burial places.

In the former case think JFK and Ronald Reagan.

In the latter, draw upon Richard Nixon and Vice President Joe Biden, who recently stood in a County Louth graveyard contemplating his Irish forebears.

Few if any come to mind in the context of actually owning property in Ireland.

In that regard, Donald Trump is a groundbreaker.

Because, as of last night, Trump is officially a top American politician having been officially declared the Republican Party candidate for the presidential election in November.

Trump was put over the top in the roll call of states by New York, which was accorded the honor as a result of being allowed jump the roll call queue.

Standing amid the New York delegation in the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland was Congressman Peter King, co-chair of the congressional Friends of Ireland.

King’s family roots, unlike Trump’s, are in Ireland, but he casts a relatively short shadow on the island’s landscape compared to Mr. Trump.

That’s because he doesn’t own a golf course.

And not any old course.

Doonbeg in County Clare, one of Trump’s signature property holdings, is a course of courses.

I know because I have played it.


And in a Force 8 wind.

Force 8 on the Beaufort Scale is described as a “Fresh Gale,” with winds varying between 39 and 46 mph.

This is almost a match for the wind coming off a party convention platform.

It certainly left me and my companions humbled and battered.

All we were good for at the end of our Doonbeg adventure were pots and pots of tea.

That memorable day was before Donald Trump descended from the clouds and saved Doonbeg, not from a water grave, but rather a liquidity one.

The Trump resort that now dominates this stretch of County Clare coastline is officially an outpost of the Trump property empire.

If the man becomes president it could end up hosting meetings of world leaders.

Kim Jong Un might turn up with his sticks.

Vladimir Putin with a rocket launcher driver.

Doonbeg, of course, has been in the news of late because Mr. Trump wants to build a wall.

It’s a Trump thing.

This wall would not be designed to stop people, but rather the Atlantic Ocean, which can be a frightening, almost living thing, when it takes the mood.

It certainly was that long ago golfing day.

And it was only Force 8.

The wind can blow a lot harder than this along Ireland’s wild Atlantic shore.

Trump might not be the most blatant climate change denier in contemporary politics, but facing into the clear cut effects of it is not as big a priority for the man as, say, building a wall between the United States and Mexico along a border that is not facing a rising water level, but rather drought.

But candidate Trump wants a wall in Doonbeg, or rather 2.8 kilometer pile of rocks intended to hold back the rising Atlantic waters.

200,000 tons of them no less.

The way things are going in Doonbeg, hackers will be someday claiming relief because of the melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

So the view abounds that that something has to be done, at least from a golfing and leisure point of view.

In the meantime, The Donald says that what needs to be done is the building of his Doonbeg rock barrier, the price tag a lousy ten million euro.

And many locals are cheering him on because the Doonbeg Resort, it has to be acknowledged, is a big slice of the local economy.

Needless to say there is controversy and uproar, not least because if you stop the ocean in one place it will merely show up in another.

But that would be someone else’s problem, and certainly not Donald Trump’s, a man who is about to embark on his greatest adventure yet - as a candidate who owns a piece of Ireland, and wants to preside over all the pieces of America.

As presidential election years go, this one’s a course record.