re: the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
Since my early meetings with the Rory Foundation almost a year ago, it was clear to me that Newcastle was about to embrace something spectacular in hosting the Irish Open 2015.
Momentum built over recent months with many organisations and individuals playing critical roles in ensuring the event was delivered with the utmost professionalism and style. Rory McIlroy, The European Tour, The Rory Foundation, Tourism NI, Daisy Lodge, Newry Mourne & Down District Council, Translink, local retailers and volunteers were amongst the many who contributed to making the event spectacular.
It is fair to say Newcastle delivered. I shared in the sense of pride that was evident in the town over recent days. The beauty of the town set against the backdrop of the magnificently dramatic landscape was not overlooked by the worlds media who were continuously beaming out breathtaking views of Newcastle across the globe.
Fringe events such as the successful, sell out, comedy festival provided great amusement whilst the family entertainment in Castle Park ensured all ages were catered for. Many local retailers embraced the ‘golfing theme’ with creative window displays whilst others used the platform to help launch new local products such as Mourne Brewery.
The ability to welcome such significant numbers of visitors whilst not compromising access to the local town and its amenities proved that Newcastle is not just a beautiful venue it is a serious competitor for hosting future world class events.
We must now build on this proven record and I look forward to working on securing legacy events on the strength of the amazing experience that was the Irish Open 2015.
Thank you to all involved.
Seán Rogers MLA