Fáilte Ireland paid Golf Channel €187,500 to help broadcast Irish Open

Fáilte Ireland paid Golf Channel €187,500 to help broadcast Irish Open
Jon Rahm of Spain won the 2019 Irish Open in Co Clare

Fáilte Ireland paid the US-based NBC Golf Channel €187,500 to help it broadcast the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open staged in Lahinch, Co Clare in July.

According to figures provided by Failte Ireland in response to a freedom of information request, the tourism agency paid third parties €495,187 towards staging the event.

In addition to the €495,187 spent by Fáilte Ireland, Clare County Council oversaw a spend of €4m on upgrading the resort, which included an outlay of €550,000 on new public toilets.

The spend by Fáilte Ireland included €250,000 in sponsoring the event.

Over the four days, 86,793 golf fans paid to see the likes of winner Jon Rahm, as well as Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington at the Lahinch course.

The European Tour’s championship director of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, Simon Alliss said today that the event “was a huge success”.

A spokeswoman for Fáilte Ireland said the event which “provided unrivalled promotion of Ireland and Lahinch as both a golf and visitor destination”.

Some of the €4m spend was funded by Government grants, including €2.5m on Lahinch rock armour; €700,000 on the upgrade of roads, footpaths and car-parks; €75,000 on family entertainment; €50,000 on a paint scheme; €50,000 on tourism promotion including aerial footage on the Golf Channel and €100,000 on roads, civil defence, waste management, and gardening.

Clare County Council was “proud to have played a leading role in delivering what has been one of the outstanding success stories for Clare in many years”, said its chief executive Pat Dowling.

“The hosting of the Irish Open in Clare has reaped significant dividends for the local economy as well as the national and international reputation of Co Clare and Ireland,” he said.

Lahinch Golf Club expects to post an operating loss of €263,646 this year through lost green incomes and higher costs associated with hosting the Irish Open.

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