Written answers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Sporting Events

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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28. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the extent to which he continues to engage with international sporting organisations with a view to hosting World Cup events in this country; if he has had any discussions with the heads of such organisations in this regard; if he expects to achieve a positive result arising from any such discussions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46324/14]

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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Sport is widely enjoyed across Irish society and is beneficial to our economy, health and culture.  The performance of Irish sports people and teams not only boosts the morale of the country but also promotes a positive image of the country overseas with the potential to generate inbound tourism.   

The hosting of major sports events can also deliver additional international visits and helps to put Ireland onto travel itineraries as a holiday destination.  The Giro D'Italia and the American Football match between the University of Central Florida and Penn State earlier this year shows that the island of Ireland can successfully host large international events.

I am supportive of the ongoing efforts of the Tourism Agencies and the National Governing Bodies of Sport to attract international events, subject, of course, to an assessment of the costs/benefits involved in any State financial support.   In that context, I was delighted that the FAI and Dublin City Council recently won their bid to host part of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament at the Aviva stadium, a bid which had my strong support and indeed the support of the Government as a whole. 

I am sure that the Deputy is aware that a working group was established to examine key issues in relation to the possibility of Ireland hosting the Rugby World Cup in the future.The working group, on which the IRFU and relevant Government Departments from both jurisdictions were represented, has reported and, in conjunction with our colleagues in Northern Ireland, Minister Donohoe and I have been examining the report and considering the most appropriate next steps. The Government has also considered how to proceed, in close cooperation with the Northern Ireland Executive, and we will announce the results of these considerations very shortly.

We continue to look for opportunities to both grow tourism and develop sport in Ireland further by hosting major events with real overseas revenue-generating potential.


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