Ariel view of Spike Island in Cork Harbour. Photo: Spike Island Management

Cllr: America’s Cup is a ‘no-brainer’

If the America’s Cup was proposed for Dublin rather than Cork, it would already have been given the go-ahead.

That’s according to Fine Gael East Cork Cllr Susan McCarthy who has described the proposal that Cork Harbour would host the world’s apparent third largest sporting event as an “absolute no-brainer”.

Cllr McCarthy was speaking at Monday’s full meeting of Cork County Council where there was widespread support from county councillors in getting the proposal over the line.

The proposal had looked close to being accepted earlier in the year, however, Government stalling and budget concerns muddied the waters.

“This should be supported nationally and especially in Dublin. I cannot understand how they are not supporting it quite frankly, because if this were proposed in Dublin, I guarantee you that this would be happening,” said Cllr McCarthy.

The Midleton councillor said Cork should be doing anything it can to promote marine tourism and the beauty of its natural harbour. “This would put us onto a world stage. It is just incredible that it's not getting the attention that it should be getting.”

Officially the oldest trophy in international sport, the America’s Cup takes place every four years, bringing hundreds of millions in revenue to its hosting locality.

The last three cups were held in New Zealand where the most recent tournament apparently attracted just under one billion viewers from around the globe.

Cork is up against cities in Spain, Saudi Arabia and a fourth mystery location in the final shortlist of hosts. Also in support was Cobh Cllr Anthony Barry who said after generations of using Cork Harbour as a dump, it is only right that the hard work done to clean up the harbour be rewarded with such a prestigious and lucrative event.

He said: “We turned our back on it, spilling industrial, municipal and human waste into the harbour. Over the last number of years, huge efforts have been made by this organisation and by towns and communities living around the harbour. It is truly a wonderful thing that has happened in Cork Harbour in the last number of years and I think it's only right that an event of this nature should be shown to the entire world.”

Cllr Barry said the event would come with a cost but the benefits to the country as a whole and in particular the southern region would be huge and long lasting.

He asked that Cork County Council write to the Department of Sport and that all council members “throw their shoulders to the wheel” in support of the bid.

Carrigaline Cllr Marcia D'Alton said an opportunity like this is unlikely to come again and it was by an extraordinary stroke of fate the opportunity came to Cork.

“It's ours for the taking. If we grasp the opportunity we are likely to have the advantage of being considered again,” she said.

Meanwhile, entries for the tournament, which is set to take place in 2024, are now officially open. It is common for competitors to arrive on location over six months prior to its commencement.

The entry period will last until the end of July 2022 with the possibility of late entries being accepted as late as May 2023.