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Donald Trump’s plans to build pickleball court on Irish golf resort blocked by snail

Donald Trump’s hopes of padding out his Irish golf course with new amenities including a pickleball court have met opposition from one of the former President’s older, smaller rivals: a 2mm whorl snail.

The Republican U.S. Presidential candidate has faced a challenge from Clare County Council to confirm the status of the millions of Vertigo Angustior snails that roam Trump’s resort on the west coast of Ireland, the Irish Times reports

The endangered snails, ranging in length between 1.5mm and 2.5mm and exhibiting a “narrow-mouthed” brown shell, are protected by the European Union. They play a vital role in protecting the ecosystem as decomposers.

In order to proceed with his plans, which the Times reports include new pickleball courts, a basketball court, and a soft play area, Trump’s TIGL Ireland must carry out a thorough survey taking into account the impact of those developments on the resort’s snails.

Trump’s snail problem

Trump bought Doonbeg in 2014 and enveloped the 400-acre retreat into his wider Trump International brand. 

In that time, Trump has come to blows with the resort’s bustling snail population more than once. 

In 2014, CNBC reported that the snails were one obstacle in Trump’s redevelopment plans, which included a land erosion prevention scheme to save Doonbeg’s 18th hole.

“It’s a shame because the microscopic snail is found all over the world. When they did that, they though it was endemic to that site but it is found all over the world,” Trump said in 2014.

“If the environmentalists kick up, I am not concerned. If we build one of the great courses of the world, that’s a great thing for Ireland and great thing for tourism. 

“If a microscopic snail that’s all over the world can hold that up, I would think Ireland would not be happy about that and I would think they would be on my side.”

The snails appeared to be the main reason that Trump was blocked from building a sea wall on the resort in 2016, the New York Times reported.

Instead, Trump’s team built two smaller barriers to avoid interfering too much with the snail-occupied dune lands.

In the latest case, the Irish Times reports that Clare County Council has asked for seven separate issues to be addressed before planning permission is approved.

He has at least got the support of locals, many of whom have reportedly written to the council urging them to approve the plans.

Clare County Council and TIGL Ireland didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Trump’s venture into Doonbeg hasn’t proved much of a financial success, with the resort racking up a total of €16.7 million ($18.1 million) in losses in the nine years since he acquired the resort acquiring the resort in 2014.

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