Tuesday 20 August 2019

Ryder Cup tournament to cost taxpayer €50m but will 'be showcase for country'

Open Champion Shane Lowry with the Claret Jug. Photo: Sportsfile
Open Champion Shane Lowry with the Claret Jug. Photo: Sportsfile
Hugh O'Connell

Hugh O'Connell

Ireland hosting the Ryder Cup at Adare Manor in 2026 will cost the taxpayer around €50m, the Government has confirmed.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin formally announced the JP McManus-owned golf course will host the tournament just minutes after the Ryder Cup organisers confirmed it would be coming to Limerick.

Mr Ross, the Transport, Tourism and Sport Minister, also revealed details of secret talks with Ryder Cup officials in Paris last September.

He said he was told that if Ireland agreed to host the tournament, the organisers would not run a competitive bidding process.

Speaking at the announcement in Donegal yesterday, Mr Ross said the full costs of hosting and licensing the event were commercially sensitive but that the total cost to the taxpayer would be in the region of €50m.

He said there would be an estimated promotional value for Ireland of around €100m.

The Taoiseach said some of the taxpayer-funded costs would be money the Government intended to spend anyway.

The announcement comes less than a week after the country celebrated Shane Lowry's spectacular victory in The Open Championship at Royal Portrush in Co Antrim.

"Shane's victory is one of many great achievements by Irish golfers, not just in major championships but also in the Ryder Cup," Mr Varadkar said.

"Over the years, Irish captains and Irish players have played a huge role in the success of the European team.

"I am sure that when the Ryder Cup comes to Adare, we will see many more great sporting memories created."

Mr Varadkar said the Ryder Cup would provide an Irish showcase: "It will be a fantastic occasion for everyone on the island of Ireland, and for the many visitors from both sides of the Atlantic who can look forward to another great Irish welcome."

Mr Griffin said the announcement was "a massive victory for rural Ireland".

Irish Independent

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