LONDON In a tiny Irish village in west County Clare, the results of the U.S. presidential election appear to have been met with outright delight by several of the residents.
Doonbeg allegedly known as “Trump Town” is home to Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Doonbeg, one of the U.S. president-elect’s many global hotels.
In a live interview with Irish daytime television show RTE Today, Patsy Downes, the owner of Downes Pub in Doonbeg, wished “a big, big congratulations” to Donald Trump adding that he was a “very happy” man.
The barman says he stayed up most of the night watching the election, and when it became clear that Trump was going to win, he announced that drinks were on the house and would stay so for the rest of the week.
Reporter Colm Flynn also spoke to Mr Downes’ two daughters, one of whom works in the hotel. “It’s a great result. Great for the village,” said one daughter. “Was a follower from the very beginning of Mr. Trump,” the other daughter added, “He’s bringing so much to our local area in Doonbeg.”
The local parish priest, Fr. Joe Haugh, who met Trump two years ago, says, “He was great. I thought he was great, anyway. Nice fellow to talk to.”
Trump apparently asked Fr. Haugh to get him to heaven. “I was dumbfounded. I wasn’t expecting it. I thought he might say ‘get me to the White House’,” he joked.
When asked about the criticisms the tycoon has received throughout the election, local politician Cllr. Gabriel Keating says, “I would look at that like playing a match. He had a bad first half. He came back with a great second half, scored a goal, and got the presidency.”
A woman named Rita adds the one dissenting voice to the cast of residents: “I don’t agree with some of his policies particularly in relation to things like foreign trade, and the immigrants and building walls and things like that. His policies need to calm down a little bit.”
Towards the end of the clip, the reporter says, “For the entire month now drinks on the house here in Downes bar in Doonbeg” to which the bar owner adds, “The drinks are on myself and Donald!”
The interview finishes with a group singalong of the song ‘My Lovely Rose of Clare’ led by musician PJ Murray as a tribute to the first-lady-to-be Melania Trump.
The interview has been met with shock and disbelief by Facebook users, who have expressed embarrassment and mortification.
Trump acquired the Doonbeg golf club in 2014 following a storm at a rock bottom price. According to the Irish Times, when Trump took over the resort the entire village experienced an economic boost, leaving many residents very grateful to the American businessman.
Nonetheless, not all of Doonbeg has supported his presidential bid.
The Irish Time quote a local retired schoolteacher, James Griffin, as saying: Donald Trump is good for Doonbeg – Im not too sure he would be good for the world. He has brought jobs to Doonbeg. He has done a fantastic job with the course, but I would have a lot of problems with his political ideas and I dont think I am alone in that.”
Doonbeg’s enthusiasm for Trump contradicts the feeling towards him in the Scottish city of Aberdeen, where he also has a resort.
Residents of Aberdeen have pulled several stunts such as hoisting the Mexican flag as part of a wider movement called Tripping Up Trump to protest Trump’s campaign to build a golf course in their city.
Locals, who have accused Trump of blackmailing Scotland, vehemently oppose Trump’s plans on the grounds his actions disproportionately disrupt local homeowners.
Their struggles have been documented in a film called You’ve Been Trumped, which Trump’s lawyers attempted to stop the BBC from airing, calling it a “highly biased and manipulative so-called documentary.”
Based on the RTE Today interview, the experience in Ireland has been much less controversial.