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General Category => General Forum => Topic started by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 20, 2020, 03:54:29 pm

Title: Why I luuuurve the Irish…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 20, 2020, 03:54:29 pm

from The Washington Post…

Ireland deals setback to Trump Organization's sea wall plan

Planning board rejects Trump proposal to build barrier to prevent erosion at golf course.

By JOSHUA PARTLOW | 5:18PM EDT — Wednesday, March 18, 2020

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/MYQ6BBDJLEI6VMYT35CYMIWCZQ.jpg&w=1025) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/MYQ6BBDJLEI6VMYT35CYMIWCZQ.jpg&w=1440)
President Donald J. Trump departs Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg in Ireland aboard Marine One. — Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters.

AN Irish planning board on Wednesday rejected the Trump Organization's plan to build a sea wall to blunt the Atlantic Ocean waves and halt the relentless erosion that threatens to wash fairways and greens into the sea.

The decision by An Bord Planeala, a national-level planning appeals commission, is a major setback for one of Trump's premier foreign properties. Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg, as with the two Trump courses in Scotland, are owned outright by the Trump family business and represent an important investment for the company.

An inspector for the planning board warned in his report that the rock barrier the Trump Organization intended to build could “have a long term significant negative impact on landscape and visual quality” along a stretch of beach popular with tourists and famous for its natural beauty. The decision reverses an earlier approval by the county government.

The rejection comes at a time when the Trump Organization, like others in the tourism and hospitality industries, is suffering from closures and cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic (https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/02/28/what-you-need-know-about-coronavirus).

The Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment. It was unclear if the company can appeal the decision.

Erosion along this coastal stretch of County Clare, in southwestern Ireland, has been a problem for the Trump Organization for years. The course — which Trump bought in 2014 for $11.9 million — is perched at the edge of towering sand dunes that overlook a crescent beach. The ocean storm-surge can crest those dunes and undercut them from below.

Since Trump bought the course, two and a half greens have been washed away by storms, and another was moved inland to escape erosion, according to a golf course architect, Martin Hawtree, who was hired by Trump to make revisions to the course. The Trump club estimated as part of its sea wall application it is losing land at a rate of one meter per year. Staffers have used hay bales at times to shore up the dunes.

“Winter storms remain a constant threat to the coastal and normally most dramatic holes,” Hawtree wrote in an email to The Washington Post in October. “And those storms appear to be recurring at more frequent intervals.”

The Trump Organization's consultants, as part of its application for the sea wall, warned that sea level rise caused by climate change (https://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/donald-trump-climate-change-golf-course-223436) — a concept that Trump the politician has disputed in the past — could increase the rate of dune erosion.

The company's initial proposal — a nearly 2-mile-long, 15-foot-high rock wall at the base of the dunes — had been scaled back amid opposition from environmentalists (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/trump-tried-and-failed-to-build-a-wall-in-ireland-that-could-mean-big-trouble-for-europe/2017/02/05/4629d02e-e5a0-11e6-a419-eefe8eff0835_story.html) and others.

The Trump Organization later proposed building two sections of what it calls “armourstone protection” — one 2,000 feet long, another 840 feet long — at points along the beach where the golf course was particularly vulnerable.

As part of its application, the Trump club warned that doing nothing would “bring the viability of the entire resort and its potential closure into question,” the Irish Times reported (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/trump-s-doonbeg-golf-resort-refused-permission-to-build-sea-wall-1.4205936). With renovations, the Doonbeg resort has already cost Trump more than $40 million, and it has yet to turn a profit.

The Clare County Council approved that barrier plan (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/world/europe/trump-resort-ireland-sea-wall.html) in December 2017, but it was then appealed by several people, including environmentalists and a local surfing club, to the national planning board.

In rejecting the proposal on Wednesday, the national planning board noted that it was “not satisfied that the proposed development would not result in adverse effects on the physical structure, functionality and sediment supply of dune habitat.”

During a visit by a Washington Post reporter to Doonbeg last fall, residents were divided on the sea wall project. Several complained that a large rock barrier would destroy the aesthetics of the barren, windblown beach and the natural interplay of tide and sand.

“I would be totally and utterly horrified if a wall was built here,” said Rachel Meehan, as she was on one of her regular walks on the wide expanse of Doughmore Beach.

Meehan is a birdwatcher and a beachcomber who runs a shop where children can come and paint the bits of wood and stone she finds in the sand. She grew up in a seaside home where a couple times a year the waves would reach the house; it's something one gets used living by the sea, she said. Her family has picnicked under the dunes for generations, and she sees the shifting of the sands as a natural dance that a pile of rocks would destroy.

“It's like the fisherman out in their boats. You go with the wind. You go with the waves. You don't fight it,” she said. “Trump should just build a very big wall in a circle with him in the middle of it.”

Others had embraced the proposal as a way to protect their livelihoods; in the rural area, the Trump resort is one of the largest employers, with more than 200 staff members.

Jenny Lynch, who lives next to the course, was afraid her own home could be washed away. She recalled one winter gale a few years back where the wind peeled off the roof of her greenhouse like the skin of an onion and knocked over her daughter.

“She was thrown down. She was six. But a sturdy six. I took her out of the Jeep and she just flew,” recalled Lynch.

Lynch, whose husband used to work as a greenskeeper at the course, said she knows Trump “drives people mad.”

“I don't care whether it's Trump, Genghis Khan, or whoever,” she said. “This is all we have to leave our children. And the sea's going to take it away.”

Without a sea wall, some worried Trump could be driven out of Ireland. While the sea wall battle had dragged on for three years, the waves have been at work, noted John Flanagan, a farmer who lives near Trump's course and wanted the sea wall approved.

“They have now taken three years of hills away,” said Flanagan, who is also the chairman of a local community and economic development group. “The golf course will get too narrow. And then Trump will have no choice but to leave.”


Joshua Partlow (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/joshua-partlow) is a reporter on the national desk of The Washington Post. He has previously worked as the bureau chief in Mexico City, Kabul, and Rio de Janeiro. He has also been a correspondent in The Post's Baghdad bureau. Partlow joined The Washington Post in 2003 as an intern on the financial desk and later worked for the Metro section covering the Maryland suburbs. He grew up in Olympia, Washington. Joshua was educated at Columbia University where he earned a B.A. in 2000, a M.S. in journalism in 2002 and a M.A. in international relations in 2003.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ireland-knocks-down-trump-organizations-sea-wall-plan/2020/03/18/5f866720-6942-11ea-b5f1-a5a804158597_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ireland-knocks-down-trump-organizations-sea-wall-plan/2020/03/18/5f866720-6942-11ea-b5f1-a5a804158597_story.html)

Title: Re: Why I luuuurve the Irish…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 20, 2020, 03:59:27 pm

So … America's “fake president” who denies global warming wants to build a sea wall to protect his Irish golf course from global warming?


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Title: Re: Why I luuuurve the Irish…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 21, 2020, 10:42:33 am

Faaaaaaaaarking hilarious alright!!