President Trump's son recalls crossing Irish 'machine gun' borders

Eric Trump (right) pictured with father and US President Donald Trump has said a hard border in Ireland would "set the country back"
Gareth McKeown

The son of US President Donald Trump has said the return of a hard border to Ireland post Brexit would "set the country back many, many years".

Eric Trump (33), the second son of the 45th President who spent many summers as a child in Ireland, has recalled "crossing borders with people with machine guns".

"I would not like to see a time where we would go back to that," he said.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mr Trump, who along with older brother Donald Jr are running The Trump Organization during their father's administration, said the bond between Ireland and the US "will be the strongest it's ever been before".

In the wide-ranging interview he also spoke of the 'Irish mother' who helped rear him since a child, who remains within the Trump family’s most trusted circle to this day.

Two Irish nannies helped raise Eric and his siblings - Dorothy Curran from Cavan and the late Bridget Carroll from Co Kerry.

Mr Trump described the former as a "second mom to me and a really amazing person."

"I used to come to Ireland for some of my summers and I would stay with her for a couple of weeks in her family home in Cavan. I have amazing memories from that. I always loved fishing, I still do, and I used to love catching trout in the river. I remember going to the Slieve Russell Hotel to swim in the pool and play golf," he said.

The businessman spoke about flying out of Belfast and revealed that his father looked at investing in the Titanic Quarter, before choosing to create his golf resort at Doonbeg in Co Clare.

"I remember the old days where you were driving through checkpoints with people with machine guns," he said.

"Fast forward 15 years I was looking at projects in Belfast. We looked at the Titanic Quarter, but we never decided to go for it, because we settled on Doonbeg - and so in a certain way for me because, while I am not Irish by blood, I kind of feel like I'm Irish by blood (because of Dorothy)."

In the same interview Eric Trump described Holywood golfer Rory McIlroy as a "great friend"of the family.

Eric Trump has said Rory McIlroy is a "great friend". McIlroy, third left, pictured in February with Donald Trump, second left, after a round of golf together

The four-time major winner was heavily criticised after playing a round of golf with the US President back in February, with the move prompting a statement from McIlroy who said his decision to play golf with the president “wasn’t an endorsement nor a political statement of any kind”.

"Rory is a buddy of ours. Rory is a great guy and an incredible athlete," Eric said.

"And, hey, if you play with Hilary (Clinton) and she had won then he would have gotten backlash for that as well. That's the nature of politics. It is what it is."

"Rory is an amazing guy. He has been a great friend and ...we have gotten to know him very, very, very well over the years. And by the way, he has been an amazing ambassador for Irish golf and he has done a lot for charities in Ireland. He's just a good guy."

Eric Trump

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