CLARE is expected to reap the considerable benefits of hosting the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for many years to come.
A global television audience of more than half a billion tuned into recent festivities, as An Garda Síochána, Clare County Council, Lahinch Golf Club, The European Tour, Dubai Duty Free, the HSE and the local community were widely praised for playing their part in the ‘outstanding success’ story.
According to Clare County Council chief executive, Pat Dowling, the local economy is not only set to harvest the significant dividends but the national and international reputation of County Clare and Ireland has also been majorly enhanced.
“This event provided a unique opportunity for Clare County Council and the local tourism sector to showcase the county to an international television audience of more than 500 million people,” he explained.
“It is now up to everyone interested in promoting our tourism sector to take advantage of the opportunity that has been presented to us to continue to promote the message that Clare is a vibrant and attractive location to visit. Clare County Council looks forward to leading these efforts,” said Mr Dowling.
The proud chief executive has praised the local authority’s positive relationship with the relevant bodies that worked closely together over the past year to ensure that visitors to Lahinch enjoyed their experience.
Mr Dowling says that such a positive experience for the thousands of people who attended the golf tournament and the overall festivities will prove gainful for the county well into the future.
“They will now consider returning in the future to explore all of what County Clare has to offer.
“From an organisational perspective, the event ran extremely smoothly which is testament to the multi-agency approach adopted over the past year.
“I want to pay tribute to the council staff who contributed to making this event a success.
“I also want to acknowledge the local community who working closely with the council in delivering a successful event.
“Clare County Council is proud to have played a leading role in delivering what has been one of the outstanding success stories for Clare in many years,” he added.
The chief executive’s views were reiterated by Mayor of Clare, Councillor Cathal Crowe (FF), who said that “Clare was really sparkling” as a worldwide audience of half a billion watched on.
Using comments from the Irish Open winner, Jon Rahm, as a prime example of the tournament’s success, Cllr Crowe noted that the Spanish golfer said that views from the first nine holes at Lahinch Golf Course were the most spectacular scenery he has ever seen.
West Clare councillor, Ian Lynch (IND) described as the event as “absolutely phenomenal”, while Barefield representative, Ann Norton (IND), praised efforts to ensure that the overall festival was a family friendly event for all to enjoy.
“It became a people’s festival. Its legacy is going to go on for a long, long time,” said Cllr Lynch.
“Lahinch was hopping – you couldn’t buy the publicity,” said Councillor Pat Daly (FF).
Ennistymon postmaster, Councillor Shane Talty (FF), said the North Clare community is continuing to embrace a sense of pride after a “wonderful week”.
“Hopefully we see the benefits of it for many years to come,” he added.
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open attracted over 86,000 patrons throughout the duration of the tournament at the famous Lahinch links, with thousands more assembling in the village to enjoy celebrations in North Clare.