The Trump family’s legal problems are going international as a result of a new lawsuit filed by environmentalists in Ireland.
Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE), a non-profit group seeking to ensure proper implementation of environmental law in the country, sued TIGL Ireland Enterprise Limited—the company behind former President Donald Trump’s Irish hotel and golf course—over a coastal fence that environmental activists claim will cause irreversible damage to protected grounds.
Although Trump resigned as the director of the Irish company after saying he “couldn’t care less” about the resort in Doonbeg, County Clare, his two eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, remain as directors of TIGL. The Trump family and the former president’s company are already at the center of a number of ongoing lawsuits in the United States.
High Court proceedings were initiated on Wednesday after FIE claimed that the construction of the fence in front of the dunes at Doughmore Strand would cause “profound and irreversible environmental damage.”
Suryapratim Roy, an assistant professor in regulatory law at Trinity College Dublin, told Newsweek that the environmental group has recently gained influence from winning a series of lawsuits that recognized environmental rights in the Irish constitution.
He said it’s FIE’s recent legal success and lobbying power that “gives them the confidence to take on high profile environmental cases” like the lawsuit against Trump.
Although the new lawsuit brings the Trump family’s legal woes abroad, this is not Trump’s first run-in with Irish officials.
In March 2020, Ireland’s planning appeals board, Bord Pleanala, refused to allow the same golf course to erect a planned sea wall between the water and the dunes to protect the course from coastal erosion.
In a Thursday press release, FIE Director Tony Lowes said the 2020 decision “made very clear” to the Trump Organization that the company was not permitted to put up construction that would prevent the natural evolution of the dunes. “Yet they have done so here, ignoring a Warning Letter from the Local Authority and our own solicitor’s letter,” Lowes said.
Environmentalists fear that the construction of the coastal defense could lead to loss of habitat in the conservation area.
In an affidavit, FIE’s Kieran Cummins said while the new proposal is different from the 2020 fence in dispute, they are both “a physical obstruction which has been erected by the respondent in front of the dunes, clearly designed to inhibit or restrict the natural circulation of sediment and organic matter for the presumed purpose of protection of the golf course.”
FIE is seeking an order that would require Trump’s company to cease work on Trump International Golf Links & Hotel’s property, the property adjacent to it and the property at the Doughmore and Carrowmore dunes.
The case is set to come before the court on January 16.