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Chance for Kerry to host World Rally Championship lost due to lack of funding




An opportunity for Kerry to host a round of the World Rally Championship has been lost due to the unavailability of government funding.

A local bid team , that included former World Rally Championship co-driver Paul Nagle put forward an extensive proposition to Motorsport Ireland late last year.

The local team put forward the North Campus of MTU Kerry in Tralee as the event’s main hub and that Killarney would host the fan zone.

It was confirmed by Motorsport Ireland in January that three locations, Tralee, Waterford and Limerick, would each host the event on a rotation basis between 2025 and 2027 if government funding was put in place.

The promoters of the World Rally Championship set a deadline of mid-March to secure the funding so they could finalise the championship calendar.

That was deadline was pushed forward to Monday this week as the FIA World Council meets this week where a provisional 2025 calendar would be discussed.

With the funding not forthcoming by Monday evening, Motorsport Ireland issued a statement stating that the

Motorsport Ireland first approached the Government back in early 2023 and in June of that year had a fruitful meeting with Minister Thomas Byrne and his colleagues where they presented how we can showcase Ireland on the world stage by bringing the World Rally Championship to Ireland for a three-year period.

In the meeting Motorsport Ireland were complimented by Minister Byrne that they were doing the right thing by coming good and early with respect to a funding request for a 2025 event.

“After the meeting we were referred to the Major Sports Events Unit whom we engaged with and submitted a full event screening application on October 6 2023,” said Motorsport Ireland president Aiden Harper.

“To date, Motorsport Ireland have received no questions or feedback on any of the documents we submitted, despite multiple communications to the Department asking if additional information was required. To learn on the last day of our extension from the promoter that Minister Byrne’s Department now require another six months to undertake further independent assessments and analysis is very frustrating.

“From the beginning Motorsport Ireland have been very clear that March 2024 was the cutoff for receiving acknowledgment if we were successful or not in our request for funding. This deadline wasn’t chosen by Motorsport Ireland, this was an operational deadline set by the World Rally Championship promoter. The demand for the limited number of slots in the WRC calendar is running at an all-time high and the promoter is in a position to choose host countries that are able to commit and thus benefit from a multi-year major event strategy. The promoter cut-off date must be respected so that they can plan their 2025-2027 calendar.”

Despite Motorsport Ireland’s early application the department said it needed more time to evaluate the bid paperwork.

“It is important to note that a Government decision is needed in order to approve the allocation of the significant resources required for hosting major sports event, like the World Rally Championship, including in areas such as security, transport and other logistics. It should also be noted that any decision by Government to provide funding to support the hosting of major sporting events needs to be underpinned by an independent economic analysis and business case,” said Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
“In light of the need for more detailed assessment and further information and given that Motorsport Ireland proposes to host the World Rally Championship in a relatively short time, the Department is unable to commit to public monies towards supporting an event starting in 2025, given the need for further and thorough assessment.”



Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry

This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry. The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry […]




This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry.

The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry is associated with this year, promises to be a fabulous day of cycling and fun!.

The 100km route challenges the stronger cyclists and the 75km route gives cyclists the chance to become familiar with Moll’s Gap which is part of the Ring of Kerry route.
The cycle sets out from Killarney, heading out the Cork Road. The 75km route (one peak) turns right at Loo Bridge for Kilgarvan and onto Kenmare, while the 100km route, (three peaks) heads over the county bounds to Ballyvourney, onto The Top of Coom and then Kenmare. Both routes continue on over Moll’s Gap, passing through the picturesque Ladies’ View and back into Killarney, where all participants will be treated to a burger and drink at the finish line.

“We will guarantee plenty of laughs and refreshments along the way, there are two routes available; 100km or 75km, to meet all abilities, covering some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland. This is the perfect warm-up for anyone thinking of doing the Ring of Kerry cycle this year or anybody looking for a really well run sportive with great craic compulsory,” Chairperson of Killarney Cycling Club, Kevin Murphy.

All cyclists who register online will be entered into a raffle for some great spot prizes kindly donated by our sponsors, winners collecting their prize at the finish line.

Down Syndrome Kerry’s goal is to help people with down syndrome to make their own futures as bright and independent as possible by providing them with education, support and friendship every step of the way.
Funds raised from this cycle will help Down Syndrome to continue to provide vital services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and job coaching to their members.
As Down Syndrome Kerry do not receive any government funding, they are totally dependent on your support to continue to make these services available to those who need them.
You can register for the cycle which is €40 for Cycling Ireland members, €20 for accompanied under 16’s on event master:-

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BAR 1661 is teaming up with Pig’s Lane for a night of cocktail mastery

BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21. […]




BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21.

The dynamic team at Dublin’s BAR 1661, who have recently taken their talents to venues in Sweden, London, and the famous Dead Rabbit Bar in New York, are now hitting the road to Killarney for an epic takeover event.

Staunchly Irish and fiercely independent, BAR 1661 have two goals in mind; to introduce the world to Poitín and lift Irish cocktail culture to fresh heights.
Headed up by their founder Dave Mulligan, the Dublin team will transform Pig’s Lane on College Street for one night only. Since opening just a few months ago, Pig’s Lane has been raising the bar in Kerry with its cocktails, whiskey and wine offering. Kicking off at 6pm, experience a curated selection of Poitín-infused cocktails, featuring a bespoke rendition of BAR 1661’s drinks menu.

The crew will also serve up their unique take on the classic Irish Coffee with their Belfast Coffee, steeped with cold brew coffee, top-quality Irish Poitín, and rich demerara syrup. Guests will be able to chat with the team, get some insider knowledge on how to elevate their own cocktail-making skills, as well as learn insider tips on how to blend flavours to satisfy their own palette.

Two-time World Championship Mixologist and Drinks Development Manager for the O’Donoghue Ring Collection and Pig’s Lane, Ariel Sanecki said of the upcoming takeover: 

“We are very excited to welcome one of Ireland’s leading bars, BAR 1661, for an exclusive collaboration with us here at Pig’s Lane. This takeover is a great opportunity for people to meet with innovative mixologists who will be crafting bespoke creations right in front of them! We look forward to welcoming guests on the night, to what promises to be an epic event, featuring premium drink producers and unforgettable flavours.”

Before the takeover starts, drinks aficionados can join Dave for an intimate Poitín Masterclass. Attendees are invited to explore the diverse landscape of Poitín, accompanied by fascinating insights into its vibrant history and contemporary revival.


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