Trump fever hits Doonbeg as two of president’s sons receive enthusiastic welcome
Eric Trump received a loud cheer when he asked locals ‘does Doonbeg love Trump?’
Two of Donald Trump’s sons received an enthusiastic welcome to a rural Co Clare village during their father’s first presidential visit to Ireland.
Eric and Donald Junior arrived in Doonbeg shortly after 10pm on Wednesday to cheers from locals as they swept up in Range Rovers.
They spoke to several villagers, posed for selfies with children and received even louder cheers after asking “does Doonbeg love Trump”.
Eric told the crowd: “We love this place more than anything. So thank you for this hospitality. It’s awesome.”
He then offered to buy drinks.
“Don and I want to buy everyone cocktails tonight,” he said.
The young Trump men visited several pubs in the village and even had a go at pouring pints in one.
Speaking from behind the bar, Eric said: “You guys are so warm to us every single time. You are truly some of the most incredible people in the world and I hope we’ve made you very very proud and I hope we’ve made Ireland very proud.”
At Madigan’s bar, Eric said: “So guys, just a little cheers to everyone in Doonbeg, we love you guys so much, thank you for treating us like family. We love everything about Doonbeg, we feel like home here, just great to be with each and every one of you. Thank you for the support guys, thank you.”
Earlier, President Trump was warmly welcomed to Doonbeg where locals waved American flags and some donned the Make America Great Again cap.
Shortly after Mr Trump and his wife Melania touched down at the Doonbeg golf resort, the village erupted into a carnivalesque celebration with ceili music and Irish dancers taking over the main street.
Mr Trump is staying a short distance away in his five-star hotel where he landed in his Marine One shortly before 6.30pm on Wednesday.
Local residents arrived in their droves to the small village to mark the visit.
A number of young men could be seen with the American flag draped over their shoulders while American and Irish flags were erected side by side on lampposts to ensure the president was made to feel welcome.
Paul Markham, who lives in nearby Kilmurry McMahon, is a huge Trump supporter.
He enlisted the help of a few neighbours to make an American-inspired top hat, which he hopes will catch the attention of Mr Trump if he visits the village.
Speaking in Doonbeg, he said: “I think it’s a great cead mile failte (Irish welcome) for him to Ireland and to this historic village.
“The atmosphere is building up and we are all here to welcome the Trump family, it’s a great occasion.
“He’s providing employment for west Clare and tourism.
“We are hoping Donald will come down from his hotel and into the village.
“People are waiting anxiously waiting to greet him. He’ll get a great welcome.”
Michael Leahy travelled the short distance from Kilrush to welcome the American president.
Wearing the Make America Great Again cap, he said: “It’s such a wonderful thing to have such a significant historical figure coming to this parish.
“I think he’s of great significance from a point of view of world peace. He’s a very peace-making president.”
However, as common with most of his visits, the controversial figure attracts protesters.
Cork man John Lennon travelled to Doonbeg to express his opposition to the president.
He accused Mr Trump of having “no respect for women”.
He said: “I am ashamed that the Taoiseach (Leo Varadkar) was at Shannon airport meeting him, a man who has no respect for the truth.
“There are two homes in Ireland for foreign people to be entertained, Leinster House or Aras an Uachtarain (presidential home).
“I am embarrassed for the people of Ireland.
“Trump is a scumbag.”
US veterans Ken Mayers 82, and Tarak Kauff, 77 were also there to protest against the visit.
Ken, a former US Marine Corps Major, said: “Donald Trump represents the murder that the United States is creating all over the world.
“Unfortunately the Irish government is complicit because they are not enforcing their neutrality.
“Three million US soldiers have passed through Shannon Airport since 2003 on their way to wars in the Middle East and North Africa.”
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