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SUPPORT THAT BENEFITTED LAHINCH when hosting the 2019 Irish Open must be replicated for the Women’s Irish Open which takes place in Newmarket-on-Fergus this September.

Dromoland Castle will host the Women’s Irish Open on its prestigious 450-acre estate, 18-hole Championship Course, from September 22nd to 25th. It will be the first time women’s professional golf will be played in the Republic of Ireland since 2012.

Lahinch received widespread acclaim for the roaring success which was the 2019 Irish Open with a paint scheme in advance of the European Tour event giving the area and Ennistymon a new lease of life.

Clare County Council were called on by Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) to have “sufficient resources in place” for the Women’s Irish Open.

Senior executive officer with the Shannon Municipal District, Jason Murphy detailed that the fire service plus teams in the Shannon MD, tourism and planning departments have met with organisers and agencies “in advance of an event management licence being applied for. As the project develops and the full requirements are known, we will provide appropriate supports to play our part in ensuring a successful event in this exceptional setting”.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the Shannon MD, Cllr McMahon recounted, “We are all aware of the great success of The Irish Open in Lahinch, we now have the European Tour coming to Dromoland and it is massive honour. Leona Maguire is getting global attention as leading female golfer, has won major tournaments to put attention on women’s games in Ireland, huge interest has been generated the same as women’s boxers”.

He continued, “We have this focus of light being thrust upon us, to be fair to Clare County Council they did an excellent job for The Irish Open, they have a plan to work to and make this hugely successful”. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native said the “excellent infrastructure” including the motorway network from Tuam, Dublin and Belfast will strengthen the event’s potential.

Families can be attracted to come to the area as well as the golf, he believed. “We’ve only two five-star hotels in Clare, Dromoland is our premier one, it has unique walks and scenery, we get international attention for Dromoland, we have the right positive attention because this is a European Tour event not just the Irish Open so we can get the world’s attention. It is important, it will be a long time before it’s back on the west coast, to get anything major in the west coast, we have it in our own county and area so we have to make the most of it”.

Confidence was expressed by Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) that the Council would deliver. “The local authority needs to be complimented in their commitment to support this event, the local authority is not seen wanting when there is anything of major importance coming to our area”.

Shannon Airport must “market Shannon as the gateway for this event,” Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) stressed. Cllr John Crowe (FG) was singing of the same hymn sheet, “Shannon Airport should stand out and really drive this home, Dublin tries to make itself the gateway for every event. A lot of work has been done by the local authority, if Lahinch is anything to go by, be assured they won’t be left wanting”. Support was also voiced by Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF).

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