Clare County Council says it has no record of receiving any call from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in relation to a planning application for a West Clare wind farm that had been opposed by President Donald Trump.
At an event in Washington D.C. today, after the pair had met in the White House, the Taoiseach recounted how he had received a call from Mr. Trump in relation to an application for nine wind turbines to be built close to the Trump family’s Doonbeg golf resort.
The Taoiseach, then Minister for Tourism, said he “rang the County Council and inquired about the planning permission and subsequently the planning permission was declined.”
“The President has very kindly given me credit for that, although I do think it probably would have been refused anyway but I’m very happy to take credit for it, if the President is going to offer it to me.”
Tonight, Clare County Council has released a statement saying that the application in question was refused in late 2014, a decision that was later upheld by An Bord Pleanala.
Clare County Council says all representations, objections and observations made in relation to the file are available to view, but there is no mention in the planning file of then Minister Leo Varadkar.
— Clare County Council (@ClareCoCo) March 15, 2018
The Taoiseach’s remarks have already drawn criticism from political opponents in Ireland.
Taoiseach needs to be more transparent in relation to his intervention with Clare County Council on behalf of President Trump regarding a planning application for a wind farm . Who did he ring? What was the nature of the intervention?
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) March 15, 2018
In 2014, the now President welcomed the Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the wind farm.
Great news from Ireland—Clare County Council turned down massive windfarm near my hotel & golf course in Doonbeg. pic.twitter.com/oSvVFgM70M
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2014