Donald Trump is taking a break from campaigning and defending himself against multiple investigations with a trip to his golf courses in Scotland and Ireland this week. He’s expected at his resort in County Clare on Wednesday, and the local reaction to his visit is mixed.
A warm reception awaits former president, Donald J. Trump, from his workers and local business people, merged with criticism from others in West Clare as he traveled from Scotland where earlier in the week he opened a second golf course. Trump arrives in Ireland less than three weeks after he criticized President Joe Biden’s visit.
Just three weeks ago, Trump said, “He’s now in Ireland, he's not going to have a news conference... when the world is exploding. I own property in Ireland, I'm not going to Ireland.”
Despite his assertion that he wasn’t visiting, he arrives to a welcome from 300 employees working at or in jobs linked to his Irish resort.
His Doonbeg resort managing director Joe Russell said, “The impact of the business both in terms of direct and indirect employment is significant. We’d be the biggest employer in this area. We have mums and dads and sons and daughters all working here.
“Well, our business has never been better, consistently since 2014, 2015 and 2016 with the exception of Covid-19. We’ve seen a huge spiking for our bookings in summer following news of the Trump arrival.”
Local shop owner Rita McInerney told RTE Radio, “I don’t think people are necessarily supportive of the Trump presidency or the political side of things.
“We have always said that we would engage with those who own the property and their projects as long as they honor their commitments from the very start, and the Trump Organization certainly has.
“We as a country do business with a lot of other countries around the world without necessarily agreeing with their politics or their system. The reality of life is you have got to do business.”
She said that following Trump’s last visit in 2019 there was much criticism, particularly on social media where it got a bit ridiculous at one stage.
McInerney added, “It kind of brought us closer together. We realized if we were being true in how we engage with people we can separate politics from business.”
A woman called Kim, who didn’t give her surname, from nearby Kilrush, expressed strong opposition to the Trump visit.
She told RTE, “Just because he has put some money into West Clare does not entitle him to come over here and be treated like a demi-God. It is time for Irish people to stand up and say we don’t like this man. He causes division wherever he goes. He is not a nice man.”
Trump was earlier in Scotland to open a second golf course at Menie Estate near Aberdeen.
He was met at Aberdeen Airport on Monday by two pipers, a red carpet and a 10-vehicle motorcade. Before getting into one of the cars, Trump said, “It’s great to be home. This was the home of my mother.”
Joining him on the trip to Ireland is his son, Eric, who runs the Trump golf properties. His wife Melania was nowhere in sight when his plane touched down in Scotland on Monday.
He wrote on his social media outlet, Truth Social, that his two golf courses in Scotland and his one in Ireland were among the greatest in the world.
The 76-year-old tycoon’s trip to Scotland and Ireland came as he contests legal action in his native New York over a rape allegation and his business practices.