Published: Mon, 31 March 2014
Sean Kelly MEP reiterated his support for Ireland’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023, while addressing an event at Bandon Rugby Football Club in Cork on Friday (28/03/2014).
“Ireland has excellent sporting facilities and proven ability to successfully host major sporting events, such as the Special Olympics. It could be a hugely historical all-island event, with massive economic and tourism benefits.” The former GAA President oversaw the redevelopment of Croke Park and steered through the historical ‘Rule 42’ which allowed non-Gaelic games to be played at Croke Park, including rugby – an achievement that has paved the way for the world cup bid.
Mr Kelly cited Croke Park and other major GAA venues around the country, such as Semple Stadium, Thurles and Fitzgerald Park in Killarney alongside the traditional rugby home grounds of Thomand Park, the Aviva, Musgrave Park, and Ravenhill as potential locations for the games.
“Ireland could easily accommodate the 377,000 or more visitors that the Rugby World Cup would bring to the country.”
The MEP, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Sport, emphasised that Ireland has the necessary infrastructure to welcome such an event.
“The economic and tourism benefits of almost 400,000 international fans visiting Ireland over 23 days would provide a multi-million boost across the country,” he added.
“This is an opportunity for Ireland and we should do all we can to seize it,” Mr Kelly added.
Mr Kelly was in Bandon to officially launch the Bandon half marathon and 10 km run, in conjunction with Bandon Athletic Club.