Experts warn Doonbeg still under threat from Trump’s plans #NatureTrumpsWalls

Published by David Hayden on

January 26, 2017

Four international experts have written to the Clare champion newspaper publicly calling on Clare County Council to be ‘diligent’ as the beach at Donald Trump’s Doonbeg golf course is ‘still under threat’ from revised proposals.

It appears the issue of sea walls has not been scrapped altogether but rather revised. The revised application submitted proposes two shorter walls of 650m and 250m instead of the original 2.8km wall. This smaller scale is far from benign.FIE-logo

The authors of ‘The World’s Beaches, A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline’, point out that ‘Dune erosion is part of the beach sand supply, and walls interfere with such supply. Their core message is that seawalls destroy beaches. If the seawall ‘solution’ is followed ‘bigger and better’ walls will be needed as the wave size increases and sea-level rises.

Furthermore, the authors worry that the public may not be aware that there is still a danger. The withdrawal of the previous proposal was perhaps interpreted too hastily as a victory over the seawall proposal. The proposed work at Doonbeg Golf course hasn’t really changed as it still involves beach-destroying seawalls.foe_eng_logo_col_port

The authors recommend that the currently affected holes be relocated further from the shoreline in order to avoid the construction of damaging seawalls. This approach will preserve the beaches for generations to come, maintain the recreational course, and most importantly, it will set a good example for the future of Irish coastal management in this time of rapidly rising sea levels.

The #NatureTrumpsWalls coalition will be writing to the Council to object to Trump’s latest plan. The coalition includes Save the Waves, Friends of the Irish Environment, Save Doughmore Beach Group, Friends of the Earth Ireland, West Coast Surf Club, Irish Surfing Association, and Surfrider Foundation Europe. The groups have written to more than 100,000 people worldwide who signed a petition against the initial proposal. Now is not the time to drop our diligence on this issue.

The deadline for comment on the new proposal (which still includes beach-damaging seawalls) is February 3, 2017. The website set up for this mass action is below :

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Friends of the Irish Environment produced a very informative video piece documenting the struggle with Doonbeg golf course

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David Hayden

David is a contributor to the Green News. He has a Bachelor's Degree in International Business and French from UCD as well as a Master's Degrees in French literature and New Media from the University of California at San Diego and the Johns Hopkins University.