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Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media | Hosting international sporting events

To ask the Minister for Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media the extent to which endeavours continue to be made to host international sporting events in this country with particular reference to ensuring full recovery post-Brexit; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Ireland has consistently demonstrated its ambition to attract major international sports events that can make a positive return to the country. This is most recently evidenced by the Government’s decision to support an expression of interest by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) in bidding, with the UK, for the right to host the UEFA Euro 2028 championships as well as the upcoming hosting of the following events:

  • US College Football matches every August from 2022 to 2026
  • The UEFA Europa League final in 2024, and
  • The Ryder Cup in 2027 in Limerick

In line with the commitment in the Programme for Government, a Major International Sports Events Policy is currently being developed for Ireland by my Department. The aim is to establish whether and how Government should support major international sports events, the benefits it should seek to derive from such events, the supports it could offer and the kind of events it would prioritise for support.   This will provide the basis for a Strategy to support and attract major international sports events and an assessment model based on the identified priorities.  Mechanisms and channels to support events will also need to be developed.

While progress on the policy was delayed by the pandemic, focused consultations have taken place with key stakeholders and a public consultation closed on 26 May 2022. Following analysis of the consultation responses, further detailed follow-up and in-depth discussions with stakeholders will be required. Research, including considerations of the policies and strategies in place in other countries, has been undertaken and is continuing. 
My Department is now working towards the development of a high level policy green paper by December of this year; this will outline the likely key issues and courses of action for the new policy prior to the development of the finalised policy in the first half of 2023.  

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