Blow for Irish road racing as plethora of meetings cancelled in the Republic of Ireland

This year’s Irish road racing calendar is set to be decimated once again following confirmation that a host of national events in the Republic of Ireland have been cancelled.
Most of the Irish road races in the Republic of Ireland have been cancelled for 2021.Most of the Irish road races in the Republic of Ireland have been cancelled for 2021.
Most of the Irish road races in the Republic of Ireland have been cancelled for 2021.

Sean Bissett, President of the sport’s governing body in the south – Motorcycling Ireland – said all national races with the exception of the Skerries 100 have been called off.

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Mr Bissett told the News Letter: “There was a conference meeting last night (Tuesday) and Faugheen is gone, Cork is gone, Fore (Walderstown), Kells and Killalane are all gone this year.

“We have the coronavirus pandemic and then the other big concern is lashing out money to run your race and then suddenly finding that you are stumped anyway and the money would be lost if the race couldn’t go ahead.

“Last year, insurance-wise we lost money but not as much as we would have lost (if planning for race meetings went ahead). It’ll be hard, very hard for some of the clubs to regroup after this because sponsorship won’t be easy to come by,” added Bissett.

“There’s not going to be a lot of racing happening this year and nothing will happen down here. Skerries are sitting waiting in the wings but I can’t see that race happening because the problem will be insurance, because it will be very difficult to buy insurance as a one-off for a race. We normally have an overall insurance bill that we negotiate but we won’t be doing that for the road racing side now.”

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Mr Bissett said the MCUI Ulster Centre, which oversees road racing in Northern Ireland, has been notified of the cancellations.

“We have sent the minutes of the meeting last night to the Ulster Centre, so they know what is happening,” he said.

“I’d say it will take a year to settle down and some of the businesses that sponsor races in hospitality have been hit hard and some of them won’t be there again.

“It will be 2022 in my view (when racing season will return to full strength).”

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Last year, the rescheduled Cookstown 100 in September was the only Irish road race to go ahead due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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