Irish Open still needs title sponsor

Published Wednesday, 09 May 2012
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A leading investment management company has been announced as an official sponsor of the Irish Open - but just weeks ahead of the event at Royal Portrush, a title sponsor still hasn't been found.

Irish Open still needs title sponsor
Royal Portrush is set to host the Irish Open in June. (© Getty)

The European Tour event has a total prize money of around £2m, but it's understood it will cost almost double that to run the golfing tournament.

"Sponsorship is a commercial matter and the responsibility of the European Tour," Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said.

The Northern Ireland Executive is committed to ensuring that the Irish Open at Portrush will be a success.

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster

"Over recent years, many European Tour events have successfully taken place without a title sponsor due to the current tough economic climate.

"However, I am aware that a number of other significant sponsors have already been secured and further expressions of interest are being followed up."

Ms Foster did welcome the addition of official sponsor Brewin Dolphin - which is one of the UK's largest independent private client investment managers, with offices in both Belfast and Dublin - as a "major coup".

Tickets for the Irish Open are understood to be selling at unprecedented levels, with 90,000 people expected to visit the North Coast over the 28 June-1July period.

Northern Ireland's three major winners Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy are already confirmed for the event, as are three-time major winner Padraig Harrington and reigning USPGA champ Keegan Bradley.

© UTV News
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3 Comments
Sport is a Major Earner for N.Ireland !! in Co Down wrote (858 days ago):
For goodness sake Joe & John McC in Belfast lighten up guys. Our 3 major winning golfers are generating hundreds of thousands of £s in tourism for our country and bringing world attention to our great facilities.I don't think that too many tourists will be drawn here to watch our social & support workers despite the good work they do.
John McC in Belfast wrote (858 days ago):
Public money which is needed for vital services should not be spent on golf - a game where usually well-off people knock wee balls into holes in the ground. Six months from now probably 1 person in 100 will remember the winner of this event. I object to sport being elevated to a national obsession. I don't give a monkey's who wins a football match or a golf tournament. At the end of the day these 'big' events are no more important than a game of tiddlywinks.
Joe in Belfast wrote (859 days ago):
What is so special about sport that it gets emergency help from the public purse? Everything else gets cut - voluntary groups, social help and support groups, arts groups - but not sport. I suspect it's lads supporting lads' interests. Handing out public money in support of the things they're interested in and withholding it for the things they're not interested in. Simply unfair.
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