Shane Ross raises possibility of Ireland hosting Olympics

‘Sky’s the limit,’ Minister for Sport tells Oireachtas committee on possibility of Dublin Olympics

Shane Ross: “If we build up these stadiums and we are a credible bidder, which we obviously are if we win this bid, I think the sky’s the limit.”  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Shane Ross: “If we build up these stadiums and we are a credible bidder, which we obviously are if we win this bid, I think the sky’s the limit.” Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

Minister for Sport Shane Ross has set his sights on hosting the Olympic Games if Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup is successful.

Mr Ross told an Oireachtas committee on Wednesday that he was “energised” by the idea of developing “sports tourism” which opened “very, very exciting” opportunities for the country.

Responding to a suggestion from Senator Frank Feighan that Ireland could be involved, with Northern Ireland, in a bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022, despite having left the Commonwealth in 1949, Mr Ross said: “I haven’t a clue quite honestly whether it’s a good or a bad idea . . . but sure let’s explore it, [I] see no reason why not”.

He went on to say that “the sky’s the limit” for Ireland’s sports hosting ambitions.

“We’re now thinking in these terms and it’s very, very exciting. Let’s think about the Olympics. I remember Gay Mitchell suggesting [it] some years ago, and he was laughed to scorn, now it’s a real, realistic prospect. If we build up these stadiums and we are a credible bidder, which we obviously are if we win this bid, I think the sky’s the limit.”

In 1992, Gay Mitchell, then lord mayor of Dublin, suggested Ireland could make a bid to host the Olympic Games. Mr Mitchell commissioned several reports in support of the ambition, but a bid was never made.

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