THE timing of the decision to award the venue for the 2024 America’s Cup was dreadful. When this story first hit the headlines earlier this summer, it was nothing but a ‘good news’ story.
Now it seems as tainted as the process for appointing a UN envoy – and unfortunately the two are now inextricably linked.
Last July, it was going to be the saviour of our tourism industry – and would mostly certainly have been a boost of mammoth proportions for Cork, including West Cork.
‘A funding package of hundreds of millions of euro will be secured if we get this as it would be like bringing an Olympics game style event to West Cork which is unheard of in Irish sporting history. The economic benefit of this would be at least €1bn over three years,’ Minister Coveney’s party colleague Tim Lombard told The Southern Star at the time.
But now it’s like the hot potato that nobody wants to hold.
The request to give us six months’ more time to prepare our application – and the two months which were subsequently approved – looks like nothing more than a chance to create some distance between Minister Coveney and that envoy mess. But it would be an awful shame if the dirty business of politics was allowed to taint what could be a chance to showcase our wonderful coast and a massive boost to our tourism industry, when we have never needed it more.