Taoiseach says €4m for yacht race is good value
TAOISEACH Brian Cowen last night said that a €4m government investment in the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race would provide a return of more than €60m for the economy in two years' time.
Galway has beaten stiff international competition to secure the final leg and prize-giving ceremony. When the international yacht race stopped over in Galway last year, it generated more than €55m for the region and attracted 650,000 people to the city, Mr Cowen said.
The nine-month event will now return to Galway in 2012.
Mr Cowen said securing the final leg was a "hugely important win" for Ireland as it was watched by over 1.8 billion people. It proved that despite being a small country, Ireland can compete on the world stage, he added. "Of course, the benefits of our participation in this great sporting event extended beyond business and tourism.
"It gave Irish people around the world an enormous boost. Most importantly, taking part in one of the world's greatest sporting events enhanced our image as a positive, can-do nation."
The €4m government contribution will be "money well spent", he said
"This race has been called the 'Everest of Sailing'. We have our own mountain to climb in Ireland at present and we will have to draw on those very same qualities to get our economy moving again," Mr Cowen said.