8 September 2021
By Tom Collins
Cork Harbour is the 2nd largest natural harbour in the world (after Sydney) – Cork is hotly tipped to be announced as the host of the 2024 America’s Cup – excitement is building in the maritime and tourism communities – but a Socialist TD is asking for Cost benefit report to be published
In a surprise statement Cork North Central Solidarity (Socialist) TD Mick Barry this morning said that Ireland should not agree to host the 2024 America’s Cup yacht race until after the publication of a full costs benefit analysis. He is not necessarily against the event, he just wants the data to made public.
His comments came just nine days in advance of the expected 17 September date for the announcement of the successful bid for the event.
It is widely reported that Ireland is on the shortlist for being awarded the elite sports event with Cork as the host city.
The Government have commissioned a cost-benefit analysis from Ernst and Young but the report has yet to be published.
This year’s America’s Cup was a loss-maker for New Zealand.
The 36th America’s Cup Impact Evaluation Final Report stated: “When considering financial concerns only, Auckland got 72 cents back for every dollar put in.”
The Deputy Barry said this morning:
“Supporters of Ireland’s bid are fond of saying that the America’s Cup is the world’s third large sporting event after the Olympics and the World Cup. Well, this country would not agree to host either the Olympics or the World Cup without a major national debate on the pros and cons including a detailed assessment of the costs to the taxpayer and the benefits for society. Yet there has been close to zero public debate and hard data on the economics of a bid which could see the 2024 race being awarded to Ireland as early as next week.”
Deputy Barry said that there has been no information provided by Government as to the cost to the taxpayer of hosting the event and that an overall figure and a detailed breakdown of costs needs to be provided straight away.
He also said there should be no such thing as “elite sports” which effectively exclude the majority of the population from participation and that a successful bid would need to see plans put in place to open sailing up to young people from all social backgrounds.