A jewel in Ireland’s Rugby World Cup bid

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - PÁIRC UÍ CHAOIMH SPECIAL - Philip Browne

The IRFU took the de­ci­sion to se­ri­ously as­sess bid­ding for a Rugby World Cup hav­ing ob­served the man­ner in which the 2011 tour­na­ment was run in New Zealand and the suc­cess the tour­na­ment achieved both for New Zealand and the game of rugby world­wide.

Cen­tral to the IRFU’s de­lib­er­a­tions was the avail­abil­ity of suit­able stadiums in which to host the tour­na­ment.

From the out­set it was ap­par­ent that with­out the co­op­er­a­tion the GAA it sim­ply would not be pos­si­ble to make a se­ri­ous bid.

The GAA stepped for­ward to meet the chal­lenge and made their stadiums avail­able. Within the GAA mix of stadiums was the prospect of a mag­nif­i­cent new Páirc Uí Chaoimh, bring­ing with it all the won­der­ful tra­di­tion, which can only come from gen­er­a­tions of dra­matic team and heroic in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances, com­bined with the splen­dour of a mod­ern sta­dium.

45,000 spec­ta­tors in a state of the art, multi- pur­pose sta­dium is an ex­cit­ing prospect but for the IRFU it was seen as an ab­so­lute gem to boost Ireland’s Rugby World Cup bid.

A per­fect blend for spec­ta­tors and play­ers, both ob­vi­ously at the cen­tre of the bid ef­fort.

Be­yond all that is the marvel­lous lo­ca­tion of this hal­lowed ground, within walk­ing dis­tance of the city cen­tre, per­fect for adding to the colour and at­mos­phere, and gen­er­at­ing a unique vibe for spec­ta­tors.

Ireland is unique in this re­gard and such won­der­fully at­mo­spheric and in­ti­mate grounds do not ex­ist in some of other coun­tries vy­ing for the right to host the big­gest event in rugby. The ex­perts who vis­ited Pairc Ui Chaoimh, while it was still un­der con­struc­tion, could see the great po­ten­tial the ground had to of­fer.

As the ground neared com­ple­tion the ex­perts could not con­tain their ex­cite­ment at the prospect of host­ing a ma­jor world cup fix­ture at this iconic ground. How won­der­ful it would be to see Ireland play one of its matches here or in­deed to have any of the great rugby pow­ers dis­play­ing their skills in this state of the art sta­dium.

Ireland’s bid, on be­half of the en­tire is­land, has re­ceived un­equiv­o­cal sup­port from all sec­tors.

This sup­port i s best ex­em­pli­fied by the im­me­di­ate and en­thu­si­as­tic re­sponse from ac­tor Liam Nee­son when asked if he would be pre­pared to do the voice over for the video pro­duced to in­tro­duce Ireland’s bid – Ready for the World.

It sets the tone for Ireland’s bid and I would rec­om­mend tak­ing the time to view it on www.irishrugby.ie.

We are now in a crit­i­cal phase of the 2023

Rugby World Cup bid­ding process. Ireland’s bid was for­mally lodged with World Rugby on June 1, the bid team will make a for­mal pre­sen­ta­tion to World Rugby on Septem­ber 25 and the fi­nal de­ci­sion will be an­nounced on Novem­ber 15. Let no­body be un­der any il­lu­sion but that this is a hugely com­pet­i­tive process. We could ex­pect noth­ing less, for the prize is mas­sive.

This event, which it is es­ti­mated could be worth in the or­der of €1.5bil­lion to the econ­omy, brings with it ex­cep­tional prospects for Ireland; an op­por­tu­nity to show­case the is­land to the world as a vi­brant and pro­gres­sive land, which plays host to most of the world’s lead­ing tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies; an is­land which car­ries won­der­ful at­trac­tions for the vis­i­tor; an is­land which of­fers the warm­est wel­come in the world.

And above all else a lo­ca­tion which has the ex­pe­ri­ence to host an event as big as the Rugby World Cup.

A cen­tral plank to the bid was the na­ture of our stadiums, close to town and city cen­tres, each with their own unique qual­i­ties and rep­re­sen­ta­tive of their com­mu­ni­ties.

Nowhere is this more ev­i­dent than in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

As we wel­come the cul­mi­na­tion of the project de­vel­op­ment and the doors open for a won­der­ful new chap­ter in the life of this iconic ground the IRFU of­fers its hearti­est con­grat­u­la­tions and best wishes to the Cork County Board and the GAA on their fore­sight and con­vic­tion in de­liv­er­ing for Cork, and in­deed all of Ireland, a sta­dium of which the en­tire coun­try can be proud.

Philip Browne is chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Ir­ish Rugby Foot­ball Union

NEW FRON­TIER: For the IRFU Páirc Uí Chaoimh was seen as an ab­so­lute gem to boost Ireland’s Rugby World Cup bid. Pic­ture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Pro­vi­sion

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