View Full Version : Budget cuts to threaten bike racing in Northern Ireland?

3rd December 2004, 00:52
The future of some of the world’s most famous road races could be under threat if budget cuts proposed by the Northern Irish Assembly are agreed.

It has been proposed that the annual budget to the Northern Ireland Events Company is kerbed. According to Barry Symmons, former Honda Racing Manager (1977-1987) and Norton Racing Director (1989-1993), this could result in the loss of a number of the Province’s top races.

“I had the opportunity to talk to the organisers of the North West 200, the Ulster Grand Prix, Tandragee, Mid Antrim and Cookstown 100 road races. I have to say that some of these events will not take place without the funding offered by the Events Company.”

“I sincerely hope that the Government officials concerned will draw back from what will have severe consequences, not only for the culture but the very fabric of society in Northern Ireland. No motor-cyclist, to my knowledge, has ever been booed off the field or subjected to racist taunts, indeed the sport has fostered a spirit of friendship second to none.”

“How can our transient politicians not be aware of the loss of revenue to the business community around the North West 200 caused by the Foot and Mouth scare and, of course, the turn-out at the funeral of this country's greatest sports ambassador the late Joey Dunlop?”