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Proposals for Cork to host the 2024 America’s Cup yacht race would have huge economic benefits for the country as well as a transformative effect on both the harbour and wider area, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Deputy David Stanton, who represents Cork East, said he hopes Ireland will be chosen as the venue for the America’s Cup after organisers announced an extension to the selection process on Thursday night.

Deputy Stanton raised the matter in the Dáil yesterday during a debate on the Maritime Area Planning Bill 2021.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “There has been much commentary about the possibility of Cork Harbour hosting the America’s Cup sailing event, but I believe that we would not be forgiven if we did not do everything possible to bring one of the most prestigious global sporting event to Ireland.

“The America’s Cup competition is seeking a new host from 2024 onwards and Cork in my opinion is a perfect venue.

“According to media reports, the projected cost of hosting the event has been put at €200 million, however an analysis by a consultancy firm  has found that it could create an economic windfall of approximately €400 million for the region, while creating hundreds of jobs.

“Considerable works have been conducted in recent years to improve water quality in Cork Harbour and these works have supported the uptake of water sports and marine leisure activities there.

“Given this enthusiasm, the availability of associated marine infrastructure and the fabulous scenery, it is little surprise that Cork Harbour is being considered as a venue by global event organisers and this opportunity must not be passed up.

“Cork has had success with international sporting events recently with Youghal hosting the Ironman Triathlon event in 2019, before the onset of Covid curtailed the competition in the last two years.

“The success of this event highlighted the East Cork area on both a national and international stage and should the America’s Cup come to Cork Harbour, I have no doubt that the sporting and tourism benefits will be long-lasting and will have a hugely positive impact on the harbour, the city and local towns, especially Cobh”, Deputy Stanton concluded.