Locals in Doonbeg have spoken out about their fear of social media “vilification” ahead of a looming visit by former US President Donald Trump to the area.
Mr Trump bought the luxury golf course in County Clare in 2014 and it currently employs hundreds of people.
The billionaire celebrity has visited a number of times over the years but his presence has attracted controversy ever since he turned his hand to politics and many locals say activists take out their anger with Mr Trump on them:
“Comments were made about the people of Doonbeg and West Clare in terms of their relationship with the Trump Organization,” businesswoman Rita told Lunchtime Live.
“And I suppose it’s a product of our time really. I think, particularly on social media, people feel like they can just take pot shots at people without understanding the full depth of the situation and the circumstances.
“It can get quite nasty but unfortunately it’s part of the parcel of the society that we live in today.”
Previously, Rita has received letters from people “rambling on about the politics of the situation” and while she herself has a lot of political disagreements with Mr Trump, she believes they are wrong to target Doonbeg locals:
“They see that we shouldn’t be engaging at all with them as another business and on social media they’re just vilifying the people of Doonbeg in general,” she complained.
“And I wouldn’t mind but it’s not just the people of Doonbeg who are employed, a lot of people from West Clare that are happy to be working there as well.
“He creates a lot of employment.”
Mr Trump has described Doonbeg as “convenient and a great place”. He is expected to spend two to three days playing golf at the resort and could bring family members.
Main image: Donald Trump at Shannon Airport.