Visitors urged to take the train to the Irish Open

Gardaí are encouraging people to use the train if they are going to the Irish Open Golf Championship, at the Fota Island Golf Resort in East Cork.

The organisers hoping that more than 100,000 people will attend the event, which will be staged from June 18 to 22.

Superintendent John Quilter said that, as Fota has its own station, travelling by rail will the “easiest, quickest, and most direct way to get to the course”.

Early-morning trains will leave Kent Station, Cork at 5am, 6am, and 7am every day, and every 30 minutes after that. The last train will return from Fota to Cork at 11.10pm.

The course can also be accessed from stations at Midleton, Carrigtwohill, Little Island, and Glounthaune, where free parking is available.

Major traffic restrictions will be in place during the five-day event.

Supt Quilter said gardaí would be using a system in the mornings to bring traffic directly into the course and this would be reversed at around 3.30pm each day to bring it back out.

All traffic from the Cork and Waterford sides on the N25 will be brought into Fota via the Junction 3 flyover at Carrigtwohill East.

Car parks on site have capacity for 8,000 vehicles.

Traffic coming from the Cobh side, including the cross-river ferry, will be brought into the venue at the wildlife park entrance.

The cross-river ferry company will run two vessels if necessary and Iarnród Éireann will provide a much higher frequency of trains.

Supt Quilter said that more than 50 gardaí would be on traffic duty each day aided by hundreds of stewards.

“We will have to maintain emergency access into Cobh at all times and an ambulance will be permanently based in Cobh for the duration of the event,” said Supt Quilter.

The event’s director of golf, Kevin Morris, said he is hopeful that decent weather, which is forecast, will bring out the crowds and significantly increase the takings.

Mr Morris said Irish players such as Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, and Padraig Harrington will attract larger crowds.

“If we get over 100,000 the European Tour will be delighted with that,” he said.

While golf is the main priority, the event is designed to be family friendly this year, with a number of new features. These will include a farmers’ market with a number of local artisan producers showcasing their products. There is also a children’s art exhibition and Supernova Kids Zone.

Prizes will be awarded on ‘Wacky Trousers Day’ (June 20) to visitors with the most colourful attire, and live music at the close of play will keep the party alive on both Saturday and Sunday in the tented village.

Irish Open tickets are still available online priced at €30 for an adult day ticket (€35 on the gate) and €70 for adult season tickets (€80 on the gate). Children under 16 enter free.

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