Written answers

Thursday, 15 February 2024

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Sports Events

Photo of Cathal CroweCathal Crowe (Clare, Fianna Fail)
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59. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will consider resurrecting plans for Ireland to host future stages of the Tour de France; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6693/24]

Photo of Thomas ByrneThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail)
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A joint North-South letter of interest was submitted on 19 October 2022 by Minister Martin and her counterpart in Northern Ireland, the then-Minister for the Economy, to the organisers of the Tour de France to indicate a shared interest in potentially hosting a future iteration of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France.

Officials from my Department, together with representatives of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Sport Ireland, met with counterparts from Northern Ireland on a number of occasions to examine the proposal. Engagement also took place with the Tour de France organisers.

However, in July 2023, notification was received from the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland that, due to funding pressures, it had decided to cease its work on the proposed joint bid. Accordingly, given that the project was envisaged as a north-south all-island initiative, the Department did not proceed further with the proposal and this was communicated to the event organisers.

Should the opportunity arise again to consider a bid to host the Grand Départ, the experience gained in the process outlined above will be of use to any such future consideration. The recent restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive opens up the possibility of considering a joint-hosting proposal at a point in the future.

In the wider context of support for cycling increased funding of €120,000 has been provided for his year’s Rás Tailteann and Rás na mBan. This increased level of funding was provided on an equal basis of €60,000 to both the men’s and women’s races for the first time, will help ensure that Ireland’s premier stage races for both men and women are delivered to the highest standard.


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