A Dublin Olympic bid

Mon, Nov 26, 2012, 00:00

Sir, – Ian O’Riordan (Sport, November 15th) wrote about the possibility of a Dublin Olympic bid. During my term as lord mayor of Dublin, and as president of the Dublin International Sports Council, I persuaded Price Waterhouse (as it was known then) to do a study on the possibility of a Dublin Olympic bid (and Coopers and Lybrand to study the implications of bringing all other possible events from the world championships down). Price Waterhouse determined that a bid was possible and could pay for itself. It also recommended that we should set up committees (health, finance, infrastructure, etc) to examine detailed needs. These committees were set up, each led by eminent professionals, and each reported that a Dublin bid was possible.

As minister of state at the department of the taoiseach, I attended a meeting with a minister in Belfast. At the end of the meeting, the senior civil servant present asked where my proposal stood. He offered the view that it was one project on which we could co-operate North and South.

Richard Hurley Associates Architects designed a Dublin Olympics Village. Its idea was that the village could be partly converted into a science park afterwards. Incidentally, that was at a time when we had no infrastructure and it suggested it would fit into a corner of the docklands. Davis Langdon PKS Quantity Surveyors costed it. All the above work was done at no cost to the State.

Lord Killanin gave me his copy of the first Beijing bid. It didn’t succeed. The first bid rarely does. Our only decision is do we want to bid, not can we make a credible bid. Our next opportunity will arise when Europe again gets a bite of the cherry.

In the meantime, I would like to put all this evidence before, say, a select committee of Seanad Éireann, so that our national legislators can make a judgment on the empirical evidence. Let there be an authoritative review of the evidence. If anybody has as much evidence against our ability to bid, as I have for our ability to bid, let them put it forward. – Yours, etc,

GAY MITCHELL,

MEP for Dublin,

European Parliament,

Brussels,

Belgium.