Iron Man fan Leo bids to host €10m race
Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar is holding high-level talks with the organisers of the Iron Man event about holding one of the world-famous triathalons in Dublin and Wicklow in August this year.
The new Iron Man event is seen as a high-value target for the minister, as he bids to continue the momentum generated by The Gathering last year. Staging an Iron Man event is thought to be worth over €10m to the local economy.
Stages of the Giro D'Italia cycling race are also set to be held here and in Northern Ireland in May. Longer-term projects include pitches to host games for Euro 2020 and the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
Tourism is set to be boosted by Ryanair's move to bring one million new passengers through Dublin airport as part of a deal to scrap the travel tax. Michael O'Leary has described Ryanair's new routes as "The Gathering for 2014". However other US and Gulf airlines are also upping their game.
Tourism chiefs are forecasting the arrival of 7.5 million visitors to Ireland this year, creating up to 6,000 new jobs.