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Declan Gallagher Triumphs at Baltinglass Garda Mini-Stages Rally

Government to Assess Rally Ireland’s 2026 WRC Bid

Motorsport Ireland’s renewed bid to host the World Rally Championship (WRC) will be assessed by the Irish government, potentially opening the door for the event in 2026.

Initially, a proposal to host the WRC on a three-year rotating basis between Waterford, Kerry, and Limerick from 2025 fell through in April due to insufficient funding.

However, recent negotiations with WRC’s commercial arm, WRC Promoter GmbH, have revived the possibility of hosting rallying’s premier championship in 2026. Motorsport Ireland confirmed it will “continue to engage” with the Irish government.

For funding to be approved, Motorsport Ireland has been informed by Thomas Byrne, Minister for the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, that an independent economic analysis and business case will be conducted.

“This is a progressive step in Motorsport Ireland’s plans to bring the World Rally Championship back to this island,” said Motorsport Ireland president Aiden Harper.

“Over the last month, we have had constructive discussions with Minister Byrne and WRC Promoter, and we look forward to assisting department officials with any additional information they require while carrying out their analysis.”

The analysis will encompass an inventory of the services to be provided by the government, an assessment of the economic benefits, and the sustainability of the event.

Harper added: “I greatly appreciate Minister Byrne’s commitment to undertaking the necessary assessments to consider an event of this nature. Ireland has demonstrated it can hold international motorsport events in the past, and I have no doubt we will again in the future.”

Rally Ireland last featured on the WRC calendar in 2007 and 2009.

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