Ireland is set to turn down the opportunity to host the America’s Cup yacht race in Cork Harbour, the Irish Examiner has reported.
It follows high-level contacts between senior representatives of the Irish Government and the race authorities in New Zealand over the last 48 hours.
The Irish Examiner reports that a formal announcement is expected from New Zealand later this evening.
Race organisers are expected to announce their preferred bidder.
Speculation had been pointing to Cork as a possible location for the sailing competition as the office of An Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed that it was considering the findings of a consultancy report it commissioned on the hosting of the event.
However, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath told reporters on Monday that he did not expect a decision to be made this week on whether Cork will play host to the America’s Cup in 2024.
Speaking in Cork on Monday morning, he said that “an extensive process of due diligence” was underway”.
Minister McGrath said that it is “critically important” that the process of due diligence, which is being led by the Department of Sport and Tourism, is completed where “a significant amount of public money is involved”.
He said that the Government is “very conscious of the very significant potential benefits it brings to Cork from a tourism perspective” and that there is a particular timeline that event organisers are working towards and that the Department is “engaging with external consultants in relation to an economic appraisal and the preparation of cost-benefit analysis”.