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The Tour de France coming to Ireland is over as an idea before it really even began (Photo: Pauline Ballet)

The Irish Government has ended its efforts to host the Grand Départ of the Tour de France after its proposed partners in the North said they could not afford to continue with the proposal.

The Dublin Government informed the Tour de France organisers of the decision some months ago, though news of the proposed bid being scrapped has not emerged until now.

However, in response to a Dáil question on the issue, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media made it clear the bid had come to an end, though Minister Catherin Martin TD (Greens) had wanted to host three stages of the race.

“The Tour de France is the biggest cycling race in the world and, during 2022, Minister Martin engaged with her counterpart in Northern Ireland, the then-Minister for the Economy, regarding a potential joint bid to co-host the opening 3 stages of the race, the Grand Départ,” the reply said.

“Departmental officials engaged with counterparts in Northern Ireland and established a project group to scope out the details of a possible bid. In July 2023 the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland wrote to my Department to advise that it had decided to cease work on the potential for a joint bid.

“As any hosting bid was envisaged as a north-south all-island initiative my Department is no longer pursuing a bid and this has been communicated to the event organisers.

“Should the opportunity arise again to consider a bid to host the Grand Départ, whether jointly or singly, the experience gained in the process outlined above will be of use to any such future consideration.”

More to come.

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