Sunday 18 August 2019

Taoiseach has 'no regrets' about Rugby World Cup Bid

Brian O'Driscoll during the Rugby World Cup 2023 Bid Presentations at he Royal Garden Hotel in London, England. Photo by Christopher Lee / World Rugby via Sportsfile
Brian O'Driscoll during the Rugby World Cup 2023 Bid Presentations at he Royal Garden Hotel in London, England. Photo by Christopher Lee / World Rugby via Sportsfile
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has defended Ireland’s attempts to become the host nation for the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

Reacting to the selection of France, Mr Varadkar said: “I don’t for a second regret putting the bid forward.”

He told the Dáil that “on behalf of Ireland I’m very disappointed at the decision”.

The Taoiseach thanked the IRFU, GAA and other bodies who had helped compile the bid.

“I want to congratulate France on winning the bid and I think they will put on a fabulous tournament,” he said.

In a statement Sports Minister Shane Ross also congratulated France.

“Though we were not successful this time, it is important to highlight the fact that our bid was acknowledged by the assessors to be world class and that we would be excellent hosts,” he said.

“We are, of course, disappointed that we have not been afforded the opportunity this time around to prove what excellent hosts we would be, but I know we can take consolation in the fact that we did everything possible, including putting legislation through the Dáil, to make sure that our bid was more than capable of succeeding.”

The Minister predicted there “will be a lot of Irish people taking holidays in France in 2023”.

Junior Sports Minister Brendan Griffin described the outcome as “disappointing” but described Ireland’s bid as “world class”.

“I would like to thank Dick Spring and Brian O'Driscoll along with the team at the IRFU. I would also like to thank the Government of Northern Ireland, along with our own dedicated Sports Department, who all worked so fantastically hard together on this project,” he said.

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