Wednesday 17 January 2018

Government to approach North about Rugby World Cup bid

Brian O'Driscoll in action against New Zealand in 2011
Brian O'Driscoll in action against New Zealand in 2011
Leo Varadkar, T.D.,minister for transport, tourism and Sport pictured before attending the Irish tourism industry federation agm at the Gibson Hotel, Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 19/4/12

Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent

THE government has agreed to approach ministers in the North about launching a bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

A government spokesman tonight confirmed that the much-heralded plan has been given the green light by cabinet.

Officials in the Department of Transport, Sport and Tourism will now contact authorities in Northern Ireland about holding an "all-island event".

Minister Leo Varadkar told his cabinet colleagues that the tournament has the potential to boost the economy by €800m.

"The cabinet has given the thumbs up to the proposal and contact will be made now with the Tourism and Sport Ministers in the North,"a spokesman said.

In a feasibility study carried out by consultancy firm Deloitte, it was stated that a cross border bid would be "realistic".

Officials will now contact the GAA about the prospect of securing agreement to use its stadiums.

 The bid itself will have to be made before a deadline in 2016. The successful bidder will be announced in 2017.

There would be a requirement for a financial commitment from the State towards a tournament company to run the competition.

According to the feasbility study, hosting the event could bring in 337,000 visitors.

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