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Cars at the Cannonball Run at Mondello in 2013.
Cars at the Cannonball Run at Mondello in 2013.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

A European ruling "could close Mondello Park"

Currently, under Irish law compulsory motor insurance only covers the use of vehicles on a road or any other public place.
May 22nd 2016, 12:08 PM 65,340 60

A EUROPEAN COURT of Justice ruling, which will be implemented in October, could kill motorsports in Ireland it has been warned.

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes says the ECJ’s Vnuk judgement, made back in 2014, will hurt motorsports and potentially close the iconic Mondello Park.

The judgement effectively means that by October 2016 all EU Member States are required to make unlimited third party motor insurance compulsory for all vehicles wherever they are used in the EU.

Currently, under Irish law compulsory motor insurance only covers the use of vehicles on a road or any other public place.

This, Hayes says, could have huge ramifications.

The Vnuk judgement will have massive implications, potentially requiring that compulsory motor insurance covers all private places, including private farmland, racetracks and private carparks.

“Many Irish racetrack representatives have said that this ruling will effectively shut down motorsport in Ireland as there is no market availability for such mandatory insurance.

“Their concerns are very real and the risk is that places like Mondello Park will be closed down if these new rules are forced upon EU Member States.”

Hayes said that the European Commission has a solution at its fingertips, should Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union Jonathan Hill choose to exercise it.

“The European Commission can make an amendment to this Directive before October to ensure that these consequences do not come to pass.”

Hayes says a proposal is due “very soon”.

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Paul Hosford

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