JP’s dream becomes a reality

JP McManus has set Adare Manor and Ireland the challenge of staging the greatest Ryder Cup ever as he celebrated his luxury hotel and golf resort in Co Limerick winning the right to host golf’s biggest team event in 2026.

JP’s dream becomes a reality

JP McManus has set Adare Manor and Ireland the challenge of staging the greatest Ryder Cup ever as he celebrated his luxury hotel and golf resort in Co Limerick winning the right to host golf’s biggest team event in 2026.

It will be the second time Ireland has staged the biennial matches between Europe and the United States with the K Club in Co Kildare having hosted a home victory over the Americans in 2006.

Yesterday’s announcement from the European Tour confirmed the news many inside golfing and Irish government circles had expected since positive meetings between the relevant parties during the Irish Open at Lahinch three weeks ago.

That €6.25m European Tour event on the Co Clare coast was considered a great success and the feelgood factor in Irish golf continued last weekend with the record-breaking staging of the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush, capped by a home victory for Shane Lowry.

Adare Manor owner McManus yesterday acknowledged those triumphs and signalled his ambition to top them all.

“Noreen and I were absolutely thrilled, delighted, that Adare Manor has been honoured with hosting the 2026 Ryder Cup, firstly for Ireland and of course for the South-West region of the country,” McManus said.

“It has been a dream of ours that when we acquired the Adare Manor in 2015 that someday we would see a Ryder Cup held here at Adare. So we’re thrilled now that it has become a reality.

“What an incredible week it has been for Ireland and Irish golf. Shane’s victory was so well received by everybody in the country, that was very evident in all the celebrations we have seen in the last few days, it has been great.

“We’re all sporting fanatics here in Limerick as you have seen with our hurling supporters and I’ve no doubt that the people of this region will fully get behind the Ryder Cup and it will be an incredible celebration for the Irish people and a showpiece for Limerick and Ireland.

“While it is now time that the team here at Adare Manor along with the tourism representatives and business interests as well as Shannon Airport, we’ll work very closely together over the coming months and years ahead to avail of every opportunity to develop not only this region but Ireland Inc.

“Our goal is for Adare Manor and Ireland to hold the greatest Ryder Cup there has ever been.”

Adare Manor chief executive Colm Hannon is confident that ambition can be realised, telling the Irish Examiner: “Oh, absolutely. I mean, I think everybody here, and I know from our own community point of view here in the Midwest, they will totally embrace this.

“I know that Government will do everything they can to make sure that Ireland is showcased to a level to the rest of the world that everybody will want to come here and everyone will leave with such a wonderful experience.

“And you know, the Irish fans, the Irish spectators are some of the best fans in the world. I know from speaking to some of the pros that have been here since we opened, they absolutely love coming to play in Ireland and so, yes, we could do it as good, if not better than anyone.”

The Ryder Cup has grown exponentially since it last visited Irish shores in 2006, in terms of both profile and economic impact. The contest at the K Club, between sides captained by Ian Woosnam and Tom Lehman and won by the Europeans in a landslide 18.5 to 9.5, was worth €143m to the Irish economy.

Last September’s edition, staged at Le Golf National in Versailles, near Paris, and also won by Europe, generated economic activity in excess of €235m, so you can understand the desire to bring it back to Ireland.

The McManus family is reported to have invested €80m on Tom Fazio’s course redesign and it has proven money well spent with rave reviews from design critics around the world.

There will be further exposure to a global audience next summer when Adare Manor stages the JP McManus Pro-Am, the businessman’s fundraiser for charities and groups in the Irish Mid-Wes and which will bring together the games superstars including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm, and Irish heroes Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Pádraig Harrington, and Paul McGinley.

CEO Hannon believes the Pro-Am will serve as the perfect dry run.

“We’ve secured it now and so now we’ve just got to make sure that between now and then we maximise number one, the benefit, from a tourism perspective, emotional perspective, reputational perspective.

“The field that we have for that, it would be equivalent to a major and so just testing the course to see how we can cope with a major golf tournament.” Yesterday’s news was welcomed by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, who said the European Tour’s decision was “great news for Ireland, and for County Limerick and the west of Ireland in particular”.

“This news comes at the end of an historic week for golf on the island of Ireland, following the hugely successful hosting of the Open Championship by Royal Portrush Golf Club, and the historic victory by one of Ireland’s most popular sporting heroes, Shane Lowry.

“I am sure that when the Ryder Cup comes to Adare, we will see many more great sporting memories created, and great sporting friendships forged.

“It will be a fantastic occasion for everyone on the island of Ireland, and for the many visitors from both sides of the Atlantic who can look forward to another great Irish welcome.”

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