Tuesday 17 July 2018

Rugby World Cup bid exposes faults

Ireland 2023 bid ambassador Brian O’Driscoll, IRFU President Philip Orr and IRFU chief executive Philip Browne react to the host union announcement. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland 2023 bid ambassador Brian O’Driscoll, IRFU President Philip Orr and IRFU chief executive Philip Browne react to the host union announcement. Photo: Sportsfile
Editorial

Editorial

The dismal failure of Ireland's attempt to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023 reflects poorly on the Government, which underwrote and actively supported the bid, and other agencies and organisations in the State which spared no effort in hyping the application of Ireland, North and South, building public expectation in the process only to leave all concerned bitterly disappointed.

The failed bid should act as a wake-up call to the Government, the wider body politic and public bodies that several deficiencies of concern clearly exist within the infrastructure of the State. This time Ireland failed to land what would have been a tremendous boon - the Rugby World Cup. Next time, further critical projects with an even broader requirement could be lost because the State continues to lag behind international competitors, a divide which clearly cannot be made up for in charm and by donning the green jersey, or in this case a blazer and green necktie.

The hosting of a Rugby World Cup by Ireland had the potential to be very beneficial in terms of visitor numbers and sporting and international profile and for communities across the island. A successful bid for the Rugby World Cup would have had the dual advantage of promoting sport and tourism. There would be very considerable tourism potential as the tournament would have taken place during Ireland's shoulder season for overseas tourism, between mid-September and late October. It is estimated that the tournament would have drawn approximately 450,000 high-spending visitors. There would have been many other benefits to the country, not least the profile received through television coverage of the tournament across the world and the exposure that the country would get through the thousands of visiting media.

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