Just over one week has passed since the election, and Donald Trump is shaping up as perhaps the most controversial President-elect in the history of the United States. Protests have swept major cities across the US, the media is describing Trump’s transition process as a mess (though Trump claims otherwise via Twitter), and while party leaders are calling for patience and open minds, there are still those, both Democrats and Republicans, who are bracing for the worst from a Trump presidency or protesting outright the steps he’s taken thus far.
But if you were to ask the people of Doonbeg, Co. Clare, Trump’s victory is the best thing since sliced bread.
The small town of 754 souls is home to the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel, Ireland, which the real estate mogul purchased in 2014.
According to an article in this week’s The Clare People, bookings in Doonbeg have gone “way up” since the election results came in.
Tommy Tubridy, owner of Tubridy’s Bar and Restaurant in Doonbeg, told the paper that he thought Trump’s victory would be a huge boost for the area.
“In fact we can even see it sine he got elected that people are starting to come and see the place. I believe it was very busy in Doonbeg over the weekend.”
Given that Mike Pence also has Clare roots, the region is hoping to gain some of the attention and visitors that have been drawn to the Irish towns from which the ancestors of US presidents hailed, such as New Ross, Co. Wexford (John F. Kennedy) and Moneygall, Co. Offaly (Barack Obama).
Immediately following the election, RTE’s Colm Flynn went to Doonbeg to gauge the local reaction, and was met with cheers when he referred to the place as “Trump town.”
When asked about some of the criticisms lodged against Trump, such as his misogyny, a local council man said, “I would look at that like playing a match. He had a bad first half, he came back had a great second half, scored a goal, got the presidency.”
Pope Francis’ strong criticisms of Trump seem to have had no effect on local priest Fr. Haugh, who fondly recalled meeting Trump when he came to Doonbeg two years ago and being asked by the President-elect if he could help get Trump into heaven.
Prior to the election Fr. Haugh had also expressed appreciation for Trump’s pro-life stance on abortion.
“He’s pro-life. He’s not for death which is very important. He has good values,” he said in an interview with the Irish Mirror.
He also defended Trump against those who said his remarks about women and minorities were unforgivable.
“There is a difference between words and action. People say things, but it’s different putting words into actions. Deep down his values are pretty good.”
There’s already talk in Doonbeg of a big party for Trump’s inauguration in January.
Would you visit Doonbeg because of the Trump connection? Share your thoughts in the comment section.