100,000 rally to stop Donald Trump’s beach wall in Ireland

Paul Vale

Posted on October 17 2016

100,000 rally to stop Donald Trump’s beach wall in Ireland

Nearly 100,000 people have signed a petition against Trump’s proposed wall in Ireland as it threatens to destroy one of the countries most consistent beach breaks, writes Theo West.

Having already ruined an area in Scotland when building the Trump International Golf Links course in 2012, a decision that was was widely lambasted for completely eradicating incredibly rare dune wetland habitats in Aberdeenshire, Donald now has his sights set on spreading his misery to Ireland.

To add your weight to the #NatureTrumpsWalls petition click here

Despite already foolishly building his golf course on the sand, he is now surprised to see that natural erosion is messing up all of his work. His solution, which seems to be his answer to most things, ‘Let’s build a wall’.

But this is no ordinary wall, this is a very very big wall, spanning nearly two miles and built from over 200,000 tons of rock all dumped in a sensitive coastal area along Doughmore’s sand beach.

Doonbeg Doughmore Beach in Autumn. The Doonbeg Golf Course Hotel can be seen in the distance.  Image: Luke Murley
Doonbeg Doughmore Beach in Autumn. The Doonbeg Golf Course Hotel can be seen in the distance. Image: Luke Mcurley

According to the Save the Waves’ #NatureTrumpsWalls campaign “The proposed wall on Doughmore Beach would run 2.8 kilometers, reach 15 feet tall, and consist of 200,000 tons of rock dumped in a sensitive coastal sand dune system. Doughmore beach is one of western Irelands most consistent beachbreaks and widely popular with a deep community of surfers and beachgoers.”

“Construction of this seawall will destroy the sand dune habitat, restrict public access to the beach, negatively impact the quality of the surfing waves, and ultimately result in beach loss.”

We spoke to Save the Waves’ director of programs Nick Mucha to find out more about the effect of the wall on the sensitive ecosystem.

“The wall will split the sea from the dunes and essentially choke the sandbars that create the wave, but this isn’t just an issue about surfers. Trump is creating a situation where everybody loses. He is pitting the local economy against the environment so that there will be no winners.”

“Trump will end up destroying a public beach to save his golf course which is only for private members and the long term reality is that without the dunes replenishing the sandbars there is the real chance that the entire beach may disappear forever.” Nick added

The campaign has now racked up around 100,000 signatures from across the globe “This isn’t a local problem” Nick Told us. “This is an international problem which should carry as much weight as saving the rainforest”

Doonbeg golf course. Image: Irish Examiner
Doonbeg golf course. Image: Irish Examiner

“Every signature counts, each time a sign-up on the petition is made an email is sent automatically to each of the 30 councillors directly involved with making the decision. This means your input has a direct impact”

Support is coming in from across the globe with big name surfers like Greg Long backing the campaign. Alongside Greg is local legend big-wave surfer, Fergal Smith, who spoke to the Irish Examiner.

“It’s so important that we stand up for nature and not get bullied by business. We must respect nature and have to learn to work with it, not just impose what some humans want.

“We are at a time in history where we can no longer watch money be more important than environment.”

The ball is currently back in Trump’s court as county Clare councillors responded to his initial planning application citing 51 different areas they had issues with. He has until 01 January to respond and revise his application. The thinking from Save the Waves and other campaigners is that if the petition can gather enough attention now, then Trump’s effort will be literally dead in the water come January.

A spokesman for County Clare Council said to Wavelength about the wall “The proposed rock berm is the subject of a planning application to Clare County Council by TIGL Enterprises Ireland Ltd. Consequently, Clare County Council is not in a position to make any comment.”

To get behind the campaign head over and sign the petition now.

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