A PETITION urging people to support the bid to bring the America’s Cup to Cork has received over 1,000 signatures.
The online petition in support of bringing the 2024 America’s Cup to Cork was created by Michael Horgan, who described the event as having “the potential to utterly transform Cork”.
“We cannot accept a decision to simply lose this once in a lifetime opportunity,” it reads.
“The economic benefits for the whole country are too great for this not to go ahead.”
Speaking to The Echo, Mr Horgan, who was formally chief executive of Green Rebel Marine, said he has been involved in Ireland’s bid from the start.
“What we need — the people of Cork — we need as much support for this petition as possible,” he said.
Mr Horgan is aiming for 10,000 signatures, at which point he will hand-deliver the petition to Sports Minister Catherine Martin.
He said the economic benefits of the event are “huge” for Cork.
“We have to create the awareness with the people of Cork and Munster as to the massive economic benefits which are going to be limitless for decades to come,” he said.
“It will open the floodgates for every major international yachting event on the planet to come to Cork.”
Cork Business Association president Eoin O’Sullivan said that many in the business community in Cork are behind the hosting of the 2024 America’s Cup in Cork.
Mr O’Sullivan, who signed the petition, described the event as a “huge opportunity”, noting benefits for the local economy.
“It’s a huge event for Cork,” he said. “The business community are very active and very interested in getting this to Cork as it’s one of the biggest sporting events in the world.
“It will showcase Cork on a global scale.”
Meanwhile, Cork North-Central TD Mick Barry has said that if the Government is willing to spend an estimated €150m to host the event, then other areas should also receive funding.
“There are sports clubs in my constituency that have to fundraise for kit and for changing rooms so if the Government are going to spend €150m hosting an international yacht race they’re going to have to start funding grassroots sport properly too,” he said.
Last week organisers announced an extension to the selection process.
Speculation had been pointing to Cork as a possible location for the America’s Cup as the office of Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed it was considering the findings of a consultancy report it commissioned on the hosting of the event.