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'I think the sky is the limit': Shane Ross says Ireland should 'think about' hosting the Olympics

Meanwhile, Fine Gael senator Frank Feighan said Ireland should look into hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

File photo of Ross.
File photo of Ross.
Image: Sam Boal

SPORTS MINISTER SHANE Ross has said Ireland should “think about” putting in a bid to host the Olympic Games in the future.

Appearing before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism, and Sport this morning, Ross said if Ireland’s 2023 Rugby World Cup bid was successful, then “the sky is the limit” to what Ireland could do.

“We’re now thinking in these terms. It’s really very, very exciting,” Ross said.

Let’s think about the Olympics, sure.

Ireland is bidding to be the host nation of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. South Africa and France are also bidding.

Emergency legislation was passed quickly through all stages of the Seanad last night in order to clear the way legally for Ireland to make its bid.

The emergency laws were needed to allow the Government to underwrite the tournament fee and cost of staging the tournament.

The bid is currently in the Evaluation phase, with a decision on the host nation due in November.

Olympic bid 

Ross’ statements on the Olympics were not the first time an Irish politician flirted with the idea of trying to get one of the world’s biggest sporting events to Ireland.

In 1992, then-Lord Mayor of Dublin Gay Mitchell commissioned a report to discover if the city could possible make a credible bid to host the games.

A report - Making an Olympic Bid: Dublin’s Challenge – was published which looked into the capital’s capacity to host the Olympics.

Large-scale stadium and infrastructural developments were called for in order to give the city any chance of putting forward a credible bid.

While nothing ever came of the Olympic bid, the Dublin International Sports Council (DISC) was later set up which helped to bring a number of high-profile sporting events to the capital.

Commonwealth Games

Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan has also been looking past Ireland’s Rugby World Cup bid, saying that the country should look into submitting an all-island bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“I think this is could be a wonderful opportunity to showcase the island of Ireland to the world and also send out a strong message about the power of peace and reconciliation,” said Feighan.

The Good Friday Agreement has allowed people living in Northern Ireland the choice of either Irish or British citizenship and I am of the strong opinion that we should look at sport here on an All-Ireland basis as much as we can.

The Commonwealth Games is an international sporting event involving competitors from the British Commonwealth of Nations (of which Ireland is not a member).

Feighan said that as part of an all-island bid, the country should explore the usage of its facilities for the games.

“Whether its Croke Park, Windsor Park, Casement Park, Aviva Stadium, the National Sports Campus in Dublin or the international rowing facility at Lough Rynn in County Leitrim, we have some fantastic world-class facilities on offer,” he said.

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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