MINISTER for Finance Michael Noonan says the announcement by billionaire Donald Trump that he is to invest up to €45 million in his golf resort in Doonbeg “is great news for the tourism industry in the Mid-West”.
The US property tycoon began his three-day visit to Ireland when he touched down at Shannon Airport on Monday, where he was greeted by the finance minister.
“The original investment was a great investment but the fact that Donald Trump would visit Shannon and Clare today with his family and endorse the investment and say he intends on investing more - to the extent of two or three times his original investment - that’s great news for Clare,” said Minister Noonan, who was one of the first to press the flesh with the business mogul on the tarmac at Shannon.
“It’s great news for the tourism industry in the Mid-West, and it’s great news for Shannon Airport because I’m sure he’ll fly a lot of the top golfers in through here”.
Mr Trump, who is being accompanied on his visit by his daughter Ivanka and sons Eric and Donald Jr, touched down on Irish soil shortly after 8am in the family-owned $100m Boeing 757.
There was no mistaking the aircraft as it glided along the runway with the family name emblazoned across its side in gold capital letters.
Waiting on the ground with Minister Noonan and various local dignitaries were three musicians dressed in red evening gowns and a cocktail dress - including a harpist, a fiddler and a singer.
The trio smiled, sang and played their way through the early morning chill.
Inside the airport, Mr Trump met with the press and answered several questions about his intentions for the Doonbeg resort.
“I love Ireland. It is a special place, special people. There is a tremendous level of energy and brainpower in Ireland and I like those two qualities, I like them very much,” he said, flashing his trademark grin.
His famous hair, was – needless to say – perfectly coiffed.
Following the press conference, the Trumps posed for photographs beside a number of old black and white images of visitors to the airport including Grace Kelly and Marlon Brando.
They also mingled with passengers before making the journey west to inspect their latest acquisition.