Taoiseach should not be meddling in planning at Doonbeg

Issued 15 March 2018

Labour Party Leader and spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Brendan Howlin TD has expressed concern at reports that the Taoiseach has made political representations to Clare County Council on behalf of President Donald Trump’s private business interests.

This follows reports that Taoiseach Varadkar intervened on behalf of US President Donald Trump over a proposal to build a wind farm near the President’s golf course in Doonbeg in Clare.

Deputy Howlin said:

“The reports from Washington today that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has made political representations essentially on behalf of the business interests of President Trump are extraordinary.

"The Taoiseach needs to make clear immediately the nature of these representations and if President Trump or a member of his family asked the Taoiseach to make them on his behalf.

"It would not be unusual for the Taoiseach of the day to make queries or representations on behalf of another nation when it comes to Government business but planning matters surrounding Doonbeg are clearly a private business matter for President Trump.

"There are particular sensitivities for obvious reasons around politicians making representations to planning authorities and for good reason too.

“For the Taoiseach to be seen to meddle and intervene on planning processes at Doonbeg is entirely inappropriate."