The Youghal community is rallying together to accommodate Ironman athletes who have had bookings cancelled for the August event.
Youghal Business Alliance chairman Ger Flanagan said locals had stepped up to ensure that anyone who needed somewhere to stay was facilitated, either through host families or holiday homes.
“There has been huge uptake, a lot of people have come forward, mostly private houses with spare rooms, and many are taking them in without charging,” he said.
One of the reasons for the accommodation shortage is local providers taking on contracts with the Department of Equality to house Ukrainian refugees. Mr Flanagan said this has become a Europe-wide issue as countries offer refuge to those fleeing the devastating war.
He said that he did not envisage a shortage of accommodation for anyone who needs it on the Ironman weekend on August 13–14, such was the response from the local community.
The Ironman brand has committed to a second three-year contract for the event to take place in Youghal. The first event in 2019 was blighted by bad weather which saw the swim cancelled. The next two years were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the 2022 edition hopes to run with a half ironman on August 13, a full ironman on August 14. An ironkids event is also scheduled.
A spokesperson for the organisers said they are aware of the situation, saying: “We’re reviewing the situation in Youghal and looking into alternatives for those that have had their accommodation impacted.”