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Declan Gallagher Triumphs at Baltinglass Garda Mini-Stages Rally

Minister Thomas Byrne Holds ‘Positive’ Meeting with Motorsport Ireland and WRC Promoter

Minister Thomas Byrne recently held what he described as a “positive and constructive meeting” with representatives from Motorsport Ireland and the WRC promoter.

This meeting took place at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media, and aimed to discuss the potential for hosting a future World Rally Championship (WRC) event in Ireland.

During a recent tour of sports facilities in County Cork, Minister Byrne emphasized the importance of a thorough economic analysis and business case for any government decision to provide state funding for major sporting events. He conveyed to Motorsport Ireland officials that while there is openness within his department to consider supporting a future WRC event in Ireland, this support would require a detailed and independent economic assessment. This means any potential WRC event would likely be scheduled for a date later than 2025 to allow adequate time for such an assessment.

In a letter to his deputies, Minister Byrne reiterated the department’s willingness to explore the feasibility of hosting the WRC in Ireland. He stressed that a comprehensive economic analysis would be crucial to justify any state funding and ensure the event’s success and sustainability. The government is committed to making informed decisions that are backed by solid economic evidence and a robust business plan.

The meeting has sparked optimism among motorsport enthusiasts and stakeholders in Ireland. Hosting a WRC event could bring significant economic benefits, including increased tourism, job creation, and international exposure for Ireland as a premier motorsport destination. Motorsport Ireland and the WRC promoter are now tasked with developing a detailed proposal and economic analysis to present to the government.

Minister Byrne’s engagement with Motorsport Ireland and the WRC promoter highlights the government’s proactive approach to supporting major sporting events while ensuring that such initiatives are economically viable and beneficial for the country. The motorsport community will be eagerly awaiting further developments and the potential for Ireland to once again feature on the global motorsport stage.

For now, the motorsport community and fans alike will have to wait for the results of this economic analysis, but the meeting marks a promising step towards the possibility of hosting the WRC in Ireland in the near future.

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