President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump readying to fly out of Shannon earlier today. The group bidding farewell includes Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States, Dan Mulhall (second in line from right) Photo by Oisin McHugh, True Media.
By Irish Echo Staff
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump flew out of Shannon Airport today after spending two nights and the better part of three days in Doonbeg, County Clare.
And they left a lot of happy locals in the wake of Air Force One. Those locals included students at Clohanes National School who were treated to a presidential visit Friday morning.
President Trump also treated himself to a round of golf at his Doonbeg links to finish up a week of pomp, circumstance, ceremony and commemoration in the UK and France.
Ireland, apart from the meeting between the president and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, was mostly for rest and relaxation.
Shannon was the presidential base of operations since Wednesday and after the departure of Air Force One, Mary Considine, Acting CEO of Shannon Group, paid tribute to the staff across the company for their input in the run-up to and across the three-day visit.
"This was a massive logistical operation for our staff. A visit of a U.S. president across three days is a mammoth undertaking and the fact that this was handled so seamlessly by our staff and that the airport remained operational at all times, speaks volumes about their dedication, said Considine
"We are used to hosting famous people here, including every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy, but to do it so well five times in three days was a massive achievement for all involved."
Considine said that the visit had put a spotlight on Shannon that has the potential to attract more tourists and investment into the region.
"President Trump's visit saw over 150 journalists, many of them from the U.S., arrive in Shannon. Much of the interest, of course, was focused on the actual visit itself, which drew the eyes of the world to Shannon Airport. Volumes have also been written and broadcast across the U.S. and the world about the airport, its history in aviation, Shannon Group and its impact on the region,” she said.
"On top of that, there has been a huge focus on Doonbeg, which is now probably the best-known Irish village in the world, a level of attention that will, no doubt, drive more visitors its way and heighten awareness of the magnificent Wild Atlantic Way.
“This has been a great opportunity for us, and for the region and one we intend to capitalize on."