June 5th, 2019
A petition signed by over 100,000 people opposing the construction of a coastal defence wall at President Donald Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg was delivered to the town’s Garda Sergeant this evening.
The petition was organised by the Californian conservation group Save the Waves in partnership with Irish NGOs and was delivered by Tony Lowes of Friends of the Irish Environment (FiE).
Trump International Golf Links have applied to install two coastal defence structures, totalling approximately 1km in length, in an effort to prevent further erosion of the links golf course.
FiE is critical of plans to build the 38,000-tonne rock barrier and also challenged the original decision to grant planning permission for the golf resort in 1999.
Tony Lowes told The Green News this evening that the delivery of the petition is not only a message from FIE but also the people of Clare who are upset about the “interference” in their territory.
“People all around the world care about the environment and many more care about our coastlines,” Mr Lowes said.
Mr Lowes added that he is not optimistic about getting the message through to the commander-in-chief based on his questioning of climate change.
“I think it is very hard to get a message to Donald Trump because you can’t really argue with climate sceptics because they haven’t made up their mind about the science,” Mr Lowes said.
“It reminds me of the 16th and 17th century when the church refused to believe scientific understanding.”
Mr Lowes rebuked Mr Trump for threatening to sell his golf resort and hotel if he can’t build the wall to silence environmental protest and prompt division among the people of Doonbeg.
“He has said that if he can’t get his wall to protect golf course he will sell and leave. That sounds to me very much like Trump negotiation,” Mr Lowes said. “I think it is quite possible to relocate the hotel and coexist.”
Last week, FiE called on An Bord Pleanála to delay any decision on the wall without first holding an oral hearing on the matter. The group said that expert views should be heard by the public who deserve to hear about any potential effects on the protected Carrowmore Dunes.
Sand dune systems are important for both coastal environments and human populations, and support a broad range of flora and fauna, yet, a large percentage of dunes across Europe are in an unfavourable and bad condition.