Return of Rás Tailteann postponed due to coronavirus

The return of Rás Tailteann to the Irish sporting calendar has been postponed.
Return of Rás Tailteann postponed due to coronavirus

The return of Rás Tailteann to the Irish sporting calendar has been postponed.

The five-day race was due to return from June 10-14 after a hiatus in 2019 but has been deferred due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Event organisers Cumann Rás Tailteann said they will continue to monitor the situation and are considering potential dates later in the year.

A statement noted: "The group has made many preparations for the 2020 event and currently is now actively working toward staging Rás Tailteann in the latter half of the 2020 racing season, after July."

The 2019 edition of the Rás was cancelled as the former race organisers were unable to secure sponsorship for the event. The race is now organised by the voluntary Cumann Rás Tailteann which was put together by Ger Campbell to save the historic race.

"Considering the nature of the public health emergency Ireland and the world is currently dealing with and the progressive evolving nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, Cáirde Rás Tailteann has decided that it is in the best interests of everyone associated with the event and the wider public to temporarily postpone the 2020 event from its planned start date on June 10th next," said race director Eugene Moriarty.

“The decision to postpone has not been taken lightly, but when we consider the on-going restrictions that are in place, the current workload of An Garda Síochána, County Councils and the Health Service, all of whom play integral roles in an event of this stature, we feel it is only appropriate that planning for the 2020 Rás does not add to the immediate burden faced by our critical frontline public servants.”

The 67th edition of the race was to travel clockwise around Ireland with stage finishes in Horse and Jockey, Castleisland, Lisdoonvarna, and Kilbeggan, before starting the final stage in Kinnegad to the finishing circuit in seaside town of Blackrock, Co. Louth.

Route designer Ger Campbell said: “We do not foresee any changes to the route that has been published, so it will be a matter of managing any changes that may be necessary in relation to a change of dates.

“This is of course contingent on any opportunity that may become available to put the Rás safely back on the roads of Ireland later in 2020, if the prevailing circumstances would allow and most importantly that it is safe to do so”

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