Fine Gael Wexford Senator Michael D'Arcy has welcomed the news that Ireland is to host four matches in the Euro 2020 football championships.
“The news that Ireland is to host four Euro 2020 games is a fantastic boost for Ireland.
“Last year was a great year for Irish tourism thanks to The Gathering, and so far 2014 has been the best year for tourism in the past ten years. Thousands of jobs have been created as a result. Hosting European Championship games here is good for sport in this country but also represents a real boost for tourism.
“Ireland can become a global leader in sports tourism. The recent American football game in Croke Park between Penn State and the University of Central Florida was a tremendous success and around 25,000 American supporters came to Dublin to spend a week or ten days here. It was a major sporting success and we should aim for an annual American football college game in Ireland so we become the European capital of college football. I have also previously called upon the FAI to target the Champions League Final as I believe that given our now well established track record of hosting similar events, we are certainly capable of hosting soccer's prime championship.
“I congratulate Dún Laoghaire Golf Club on the news that it will host the 2016 Curtis Cup, which is the equivalent of the Ryder Cup for women, between Great Britain and Ireland and the United States. It has also been revealed that the world amateur ladies' and men's golf championships will be held in Carton House, County Kildare, on successive weeks in 2018 which is a significant boost for the country as thousands of visitors will attend.
“We should continue to pursue opportunities to bring international sporting events to Ireland. We are bidding for the Rugby World Cup and it has been said that we have the necessary facilities and infrastructure. I am confident that this tournament will come to Ireland in the next seven or eight years and hope that it will be just one more event in a succession of Irish hosted global sporting competitions