Department of Transport quashes rumours that it will help with Volvo Ocean Race debts

Suggestions that the organisation behind the Volvo Ocean Race Galway stopover was set to receive some €360,000 in Government funding towards its debts were short-lived last week when the Department of Transport moved to quash suggestions that funding was forthcoming.

The Department of Transport issued a statement on Friday afternoon following reports that Let’s Do It Global was in line for funding following the intervention of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny. The organisation has been left with debts of up to €400,000 following the Volvo Ocean Race finale held in Galway last summer.

In the statement, the Department said that funding was not forthcoming for the group, and that “no instruction has been issued regarding this to the Department of Transport”.

“The Volvo Ocean Race has already received the single largest grant from Fáilte Ireland for an event in 2012, more than double the funding provided to all other major international events, such as the Tall Ships and Navy vs Notre Dame combined,” the statement read. “The funding was essential for the payment of the port fee to the international organisers of the race to allow the event to be hosted in Galway.

“The race finale and associated festival and events were managed separately by Let’s Do It Global which entered into contractual agreements with the race organisers and raised funding and sponsorship from a number of public and private sector sources.

“The Department is not in a position to allocate additional resources to Fáilte Ireland for events this year in order to provide further funding on top of the €4 million already allocated,” it added. “The Department did receive a request from Let’s Do It Global shortly after the festival. The company was informed that additional funding was not available.”

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