Killalane cancelled due to soaring insurance costs

The start of the Superbike race at the Killalane Road Races in 2015.
The start of the Superbike race at the Killalane Road Races in 2015.
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A drastic rise in the cost of insurance cover has forced the organisers of the Killalane Road Races to cancel their event in September.

The popular Irish national road race was due to be the second event in 2017 run by the Loughshinny Motorcycle Club along with the Skerries 100 in July – both of which are held in north Dublin.

However, the organisers have conceded defeat in their quest to run the Killalane meeting this year, which was also absent from the calendar in 2016.

The News Letter revealed last month how clubs in Northern Ireland were being forced to shell out an additional £4,500 to cover soaring insurance premiums this year for the three Irish National road races at Tandragee, Cookstown and Armoy.

All three events are set to go ahead, although the Mid Antrim 150, which returned to the calendar last year, has been called off due to a shortfall in finances.

Only three races are confirmed in the south, with Skerries, Walderstown and Faugheen scheduled as planned.

A statement issued by Clerk of the Course, Susan Plunkett, on behalf of the Loughshinny Club said a crippling 100 per-cent rise in the cost of insurance for Irish road racing clubs in the Republic had led to the decision to cancel the Killalane races for a second consecutive year.

“Following much discussion and many meetings over the last weeks, the insurance premium has finally been agreed and huge thanks to MCI for all their hard work in this regard.

“As expected, insurance has gone up, but no-one foretold the 100 per-cent increase. In preparation for our AGM we expected to have maybe a 10 per-cent increase and had budgeted appropriately to run Skerries and Killalane, but when faced with a 100 per-cent increase it was back to the drawing board for the hard-working committee.

“We have considered all aspects and tried to see if we can stretch our finances, but unfortunately in 2017 we can see no other way of continuing road racing in Fingal, other than to promote just the one race at Skerries.

“It is with great sadness that we have decided to only promote the Skerries 100 in 2017 as trying to find another 25,000 Euros to run our second event at Killalane is just not feasible this year.

“We will be writing to all our members in the coming weeks with our plans, and contacting our advertisers and sponsors personally; we hope for continued support from all.”

Ms Plunkett also urged fans to turn out in force and support those races that are going ahead as planned this year.

“For all others who enjoy road racing or have never been and are wondering what all the fuss is about, come and support us. We have three road races in Southern Ireland this year, Skerries (July 1) Walderstown (July 9) and Faugheen (July 23). Please mark these dates in your diary and either come along and watch this unique sport up close and personal or contact the clubs and show your support.

“All the volunteer clubs are working under very difficult financial constraints to keep this sport going, so whether you can join each or just one club, sponsor a bale or turn up at the event and pay admission, please do something [to help].”

Motorcycling Ireland scrapped all events in January after failing to secure insurance cover before managing to seal a late deal.