Monday 18 December 2017

Athletics: Missed chance for economic forum

The National Lottery Dublin Marathon on October 31 has received entries from 51 countries -- with an estimated 4,500 international visitors taking part in this year's race through the streets of the capital.

However, this important fact seems to have been lost on the organisers of last weekend's Global Economic Forum, when some 240 invited guests discussed how best to sell Ireland abroad.

Dublin Marathon Race Director Jim Aughney was not among the chosen guests invited to attend this two-day event by An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore's department, even though Aughney and his voluntary marathon race organising committee have for many years now delivered thousands of visitors to Dublin in the October off-peak tourist season.

Last year, a 10-strong Oireachtas all-party team led by Jimmy Deenihan -- Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs -- all completed the Dublin Marathon. The team included current Health Minister and TD Dr James Reilly and Lucinda Creighton TD, Minister of State for European Affairs.

With these influential members of government having seen first-hand the impact that the Dublin Marathon regularly makes on the tourism market, it was surprising to see that the marathon race organisers, as well as other sports, were not included on the invitation list.

They would no doubt have had a serious contribution to make.

Irish Independent

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