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Dáil Question on 2023 Rugby World Cup in Ireland

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on a potential bid by the Irish Rugby Football Union for the hosting of the 2023 Rugby World Cup; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Anthony Lawlor.

For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 28th March, 2012. Ref No: 16546/12


Minister of State Micheal Ring T.D. :

The normal procedure for the hosting of international sporting events is that the Irish affiliate of the relevant national governing body would bid to host the event in question in Ireland. It would be a matter for the relevant body – in this case the IRFU – to decide if they wish to make a bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

If the IRFU decide to make a bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, myself and Minister Varadkar will be pleased to engage with them to explore the potential costs and benefits of hosting the event. In fact we already have had some informal contacts about this issue and the IRFU will be meeting with us in the near future to discuss the possibility of hosting the event.

A close examination of the economic feasibility and the potential return on investment would be crucial to any assessment of the bid to host the event and should take account of the experiences of recent hosts, such as France and New Zealand.

The Programme for Government includes a commitment that event tourism will be a priority in order to continue to bring major events to Ireland. The staging of major international sports events such as the Ryder Cup, the Tall Ships Races, the Volvo Ocean Race and the Solheim Cup, gave an opportunity to show that a country like Ireland can successfully host big events. Such events also provide a great showcase for Ireland and the media coverage helps to put Ireland onto travel itineraries as a holiday destination.