The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, has officially endorsed Limerick’s bid to host the 2018 Gay Games.
In a letter, Mr Kenny said that he was “delighted” to support the campaign for the Irish city to host the 2018 Gay Games, which is competing against London and Paris. The Taoiseach also praised the sporting facilities and community of the historic Irish city:
“Limerick has some of the best sporting infrastructure in the country with the potential to provide a really fantastic backdrop for the Games. The utilisation of the University of Limerick Arena and Activity Centre, Thomond Park Stadium and the outdoor biking facilities at Ballyhoura, to name just a few, would help to make the 2018 Games an outstanding success.”
Between participants and supporters from home and abroad, Limerick is looking to extend the traditional ‘céad míle fáilte’ – Irish for ‘a 100,000 welcomes’ – to between fifteen and twenty thousand people for the 2018 Games. The games, which would run for 10 days, are estimated to raise up to 60 million euro for the Limerick and Shannon region.
Despite its relatively small size, Limerick has played its part for years in Irish and European sport, being the home of the Munster Rugby team, and with soccer pitches regulated by FIFA and UEFA as well as its title as European City of Culture for 2011. The Irish government have named it Irish City of Sport for 2014-2016, the first time an Irish city has been given such a title.
“Above all else,” the Taoiseach continues, “the competitors and their families will be assured of a world-famous Irish welcome with the passion and dedication of the event organisers combined with the friendly nature of the Irish people certain to make for a very memorable event.”
The Gay Games are being held in Cleveland, OH, this year, where the announcement will be made on October 7 as to which European city will host the 2018 Games.
“Ireland is waiting,” the Taoiseach concludes. “Do come and join us.”
For more information on Limerick’s bid for the 2018 Gay Games, visit limerick2018.com.