This Sunday, Ireland is proud to play host to one of the world’s most renowned international sporting events, the Giro d’Italia.
The first two stages of the ‘Grande Partenza’ or ‘Big Start’ will take place in Northern Ireland this coming Friday and Saturday before the third stage takes the cyclists from Armagh to Dublin for a spectacular finish at Upper Merrion Street on Sunday afternoon at about 3:30pm
Speaking ahead of the event Minister Ring said “As Minister of State for Tourism and Sport I am delighted to be associated with the arrival of the Giro D’Italia to Ireland and to Dublin in particular. The Giro is one of the world’s greatest and largest cycling events and will showcase our capital city to a worldwide audience. Ireland’s commitment in supporting this event is a reflection of our desire to further enhance our reputation as a destination for major sporting events. Hosting the Giro D’Italia is another opportunity to showcase the best that Dublin and Ireland has to offer. I am looking forward to what will certainly be a spectacular series of events next Sunday. With transport operators putting on extra services I am sure Dublin will serve up a great atmosphere to welcome the GIRO following the exciting events in Belfast on Friday and Saturday.”
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn, added; “Dublin City Council welcomes the Giro d’Italia to Dublin. Sunday’s stage finish in Dublin city centre will showcase our city’s capacity for hosting international cultural and sporting events to a global audience. As well as the cycling people can also enjoy an Italian – themed cultural programme and I would encourage everyone to sample a taste of ‘La Dolce Vita’ on the banks of the Liffey.”
The bid to bring the ‘Grande Partenza’ to Ireland was led by Shadetree Sport’s Darach McQuaid, who commented: “This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch the world’s finest cyclists compete in the Giro d’Italia on our doorstep. The third stage sees the riders travel from Armagh at 11.45am, through Drogheda, Dundalk, Balbriggan, Swords, Malahide, along the coast road through Clontarf before making its way to the finish line at Merrion Square at approximately 4.15pm. There will be plenty of vantage points for spectators along the route and it is all free.”
Michael Ring TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport was joined at an event in Dublin’s City Hall by McQuaid and key representatives from Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council and An Garda Síochána. The group called on people to come out and support the race along with encouraging the use of public transport for those planning to come in to the capital to enjoy the feast of free world class cycling on our doorstep.
Dublin City Council is encouraging everyone to come into town over the weekend to soak up the festival atmosphere and to line the entire route on Sunday to cheer on the riders. There will be restricted access in the vicinity of the finish line on Merrion Square West.
Dublin City Council will be providing FREE family entertainment zones with themed family entertainment and activities, including Big Screen live broadcast of the race:
- Merrion Square Park – Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th May - 1pm to 6pm.
- Georges Dock, North Wall Quay – Sunday 11th May – 2pm to 6pm.
- Grand Canal Dock (in association with Waterways Ireland) – Visitors Centre – Sunday 11th May 2pm – 6pm.
The City itself will remain open for business as usual over the entire Giro d’Italia weekend and access to cark parks will not be affected.
It will also be business as usual for all retailers operating in Dublin city centre and there will be minimal disruption to public transport for anyone coming into the city centre over the weekend. Transport bodies Luas, Dublin Bus and Irish Rail are all putting on extra services on Sunday to cater for the crowds:
- Luas are encouraging people from outside Dublin to use the Park and Ride facilities at Red Cow and Cheeverstown on the Red Line and Sandyford, Stillorgan, Carrickmines and Balally on the Green Line. www.luas.ie
- All Dublin Bus services will be operating this weekend however there will be some diversions on routes which are detailed onwww.dublinbus.ie for more information.
- Irish Rail – extra commuter services will be in place on Sunday 11th May. DART and Commuter services will bring the public straight to the action at Malahide, Clontarf Road and the city centre. Customers should also note that the Westland Row exit from Pearse Station will be closed from 13:00hrs to 18:00hrs on Sunday 11th May, but customers can exit via the Pearse exit.www.irishrail.ie
- Transport for Ireland Journey Planner http://www.journeyplanner.transportforireland.ie/nta/XSLT_TRIP_REQUEST2?language=en
As part of the cycling bonanza, the Irish Cycling Show will take place in Dublin City Council’s Merrion Square Park on the 10th & 11th May, with entry free to all.
Speaking today, Ciara Sugrue from Fáilte Ireland said; “The Giro d’Italia will provide a great boost for Irish tourism and we would encourage everyone to get out and enjoy what will be a great spectacle. We are working with all the relevant local authorities along the route to ensure Ireland is perceived in the best possible light to the millions of potential visitors watching around the world. The commitment by local communities to get behind the event has been fantastic especially the pinking of shop-fronts and businesses along the route.”
The Giro d’Italia race also features a publicity ‘caravan’ (around 50 advertising vehicles) which travels ahead of the ‘Bubble’ which includes the peloton (198 cyclists) with approximately 90 support vehicles. Special traffic arrangements will be implemented for the 2014 Giro d’ltalia. The public are requested to follow instructions from members of An Garda Síochána, volunteers and stewards to facilitate traffic management. The entire route is subject to road closure orders issued by the local authorities. The arrangements will come into effect before the start of the race and will last until the race has been completed. Traffic flow will be curtailed from 12.00 hours in Louth and from 13.00 in Meath and 13.30hrs hours in Dublin.
Fáilte Ireland and Dublin City Council are the host partners for the staging of the Giro d’Italia in the Republic and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Belfast City Council in Northern Ireland. All information about the race can be found on www.girostart2014.comand information on festival events and road closures can be found onwww.discoverireland.ie (What’s On / Giro).