President Trump arrived Wednesday at his golf resort on the Atlantic coast in western Ireland, where he’ll spend two nights, while also making a D-Day visit to France on Thursday.
En route from Britain, Air Force One landed at Shannon, about 60 miles east of Doonbeg, where Trump met briefly with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.
“Trump had originally wanted to meet with Varadkar at his golf club, but Varadkar wanted to meet at another nearby hotel. The two leaders settled on an awkward compromise: the VIP lounge at the airport,” reports the Washington Post, citing the Irish Times.
Trump insists he’s staying at Doonbeg for “convenience,” despite what the Post calls “the odd geography” of his schedule, “which requires flying hundreds of miles west to Ireland, then hundreds more miles back east to France.”
Besides the claimed convenience, the president’s stop brings “a large contingent of U.S. and Irish officials” — along with security forces — to the Trump International Golf Links, which cost Trump upwards of $42 million and has never turned a profit. According to Irish records, it lost more than $1 million a year from 2014 to 2017.
The resort has a 120-room hotel, and even if those traveling with the president wanted to stay elsewhere, they have little choice in or near the hamlet of Doonbeg, population around 750.
“In Doonbeg itself, Trump is likely to find something that escaped him in London: a warm welcome,” says the Post. “Trump’s club employs more than 200 people, making it one of the largest employers in a rural area of County Clare.”
Despite the president’s repeated dismissal of climate change as a major threat around the globe, the Trump Organization has proposed a seawall to prevent the Atlantic from washing away parts of the golf course. In its application, the company cited the threat of rising sea levels and more powerful storms.
Trump will return to Doonbeg for one night on Thursday before flying back to Washington.