Irish Taoiseach reveals he intervened over wind farm after call from Donald Trump
Leo Varadkar, the Irish Taoiseach, has revealed he intervened at the request of Donald Trump over a controversial wind farm planned near the businessman’s golf course in Ireland.
A phone call was made by Mr Trump to Mr Varadkar several years ago when the future US leader was a private citizen, and Mr Varadkar was Ireland’s tourism minister.
Mr Trump owned the Doonbeg golf course in County Clare. Planning permission for the giant wind farm, 4km from the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel, was eventually refused in 2015 following a four year planning battle.
Speaking at the annual Irish Luncheon in Washington, along with the US president, the Taoiseach said Mr Trump had "given him credit" for the wind farm not being built.
He said: "We actually have been in contact before the president became president, and before I became Taoiseach. It happened three or four years ago when I was minister for tourism.
"My assistant said there’s a call, Donald Trump wants to speak to you. I thought this can’t be the case, this has to be a p—take by one of my staff members, surely a businessman like Donald Trump would write a letter first and we’d organise a meeting. But, as we all know President Trump doesn’t work like that, he’s a very direct man who likes to get things done."
Mr Varadkar added: "So, at the other end of the phone was Donald Trump saying to me he’d bought this resort in Ireland in County Clare, this beautiful golf resort called Doonbeg. But, there was a problem, nearby someone was trying to build a wind farm and that of course could have a real impact on tourism and the beauty of the landscape.
"So I endeavoured to do what I could do about it and I rang the county council, and inquired about the planning permission. And, subsequently, the planning permission was declined and the wind farm was never built, thus the landscape being preserved."
He added: "The president has very kindly given me credit for that, although I do think it would probably have been refused anyway.
"But I’m very happy to take credit for it if the president is going to offer it to me."
Click Here: NRL Telstra Premiership