Coronavirus: June’s €8m Ironman Ireland in Co Cork cancelled

Ireland’s largest-ever triathlon event would have been worth €8m to the local economy

The organisers of the largest-ever triathlon event in Ireland, which is estimated to be worth around €8 million to the local economy, have taken the decision to cancel the event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The second ever Ironman Ireland event was due to take place in Youghal in East Cork on June 21st but the organisers, Ironman Ireland, with the support of Cork County Council, have decided to cancel the event.

Last year’s event, which attracted some 2,670 entrants, over half of whom were from overseas, was estimated to be worth €8 million to the local East Cork economy and this year’s event was projected to provide a similar boost.

Last year, participants came from some 62 different countries including the USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Germany, Spain, France, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK as well as Ireland.

Cork County Council CEO, Tim Lucey said that while the council acknowledged that the decision would be greeted with disappointment by many, it felt that the decision was the right one in light of the ever changing Covid-19 situation.

“This is the only decision that could be made in these unforeseen circumstances. Efforts to limit the spread of Covid-19 have meant disruptions and cancellations to sporting events around the world.”

Mr Lucey said planning has already begun for the following year’s Ironman Ireland event, which will take place in Youghal on August 15th 2021 when it’s hoped that most of those registered for this year’s event will participate

“It is regrettable and disappointing for everyone involved that this event cannot go ahead in East Cork this summer but we can now look forward with anticipation to the 2021 Ironman Ireland, Cork race,” said Mr Lucey.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Ian Doyle, acknowledged cancellation of this year's event was disappointing for many involved but people should start to focus on next year's event which promises to be a great success.

"I know many people have worked hard towards this. Ironman, Ireland is a hugely important event for Youghal, East Cork and the county generally," said Cllr Doyle.

“People are bound to be disappointed with the news, but it’s great to have the date for next summer agreed and we can look forward to working together to create an amazing spectacle and unforgettable event for Ironman 2021.”

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times