20 January 2011
NORTHERN IRELAND FAILS TO SECURE 2012 OLYMPIC EVENTS
The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure had confirmation today that delays in planning and funding of venues means Northern Ireland will not host any 2012 Olympic events.
Olympic Gold medallist Jonathan Edwards CBE, along with Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure officials, attended the Committee meeting and confirmed that set-backs with building of the Olympic sized pool in Bangor and three sports stadia meant that there was a lack of suitable venues.
Committee Chairperson, Barry McElduff MLA said: “It is extremely disappointing that we will not host any Olympic events. When London was confirmed as host, we were excited and hopeful that we could reap benefits for tourism, sport and the local economy.
“This is a major blow to this region. We have lost a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase this region to the world stage. It is also a lost opportunity to inspire and encourage our young people to participate in sport and pursue excellence.
“We are still hopeful that countries will choose to come here to train and prepare for the Olympics, something that would be widely welcomed.”
Notes for Editors
Jonathan Edwards CBE is the current Deputy Chair of Nations & Regions Group of the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games.
The Chairperson of the Committee is Mr. Barry McElduff MLA.
The Deputy Chairperson is Mr. Declan O’Loan MLA
The Committee has a further nine members:
Mr Thomas Burns MLA
The Lord Browne MLA
Mr David Hilditch MLA
Mr William Humphrey MLA
Mr Billy Leonard MLA
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA
Mr David McClarty MLA
Mr Pat Sheehan MLA
Mr Ken Robinson MLA
The Clerk to the Committee is Lucia Wilson
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