Ulster Unionist sports spokesperson Michael McGimpsey MLA has hailed the announcement that the Irish Open golf championship is to be staged in Northern Ireland twice in the next three years.
Mr McGimpsey said:
“The news that the Irish Open is to be staged at Royal County Down in 2015 and the Lough Erne Resort in 2017 is a massive boost to the sport and will build on the huge success we witnessed when Royal Portrush staged the tournament in 2012.
“It certainly highlights how blessed we are with sporting events in this part of the world.
“This weekend alone sports fans can enjoy the Carl Frampton fight in the Odyssey on Friday night, the Irish FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday afternoon, and the Ulster v Saracens Heineken Cup quarter final at the magnificent new Ravenhill stadium on Saturday evening.
“In five weeks’ time we can look forward to the Giro d’Italia and the week after that brings the North West 200, two genuinely massive international events.
“Later in the summer we can look forward to the Milk Cup International football tournament which attracts teams from right across the globe.
“The Irish Open is another huge sporting attraction which will showcase this Province at its best and attract more visitors, which can only be a good thing for the local economy and Northern Ireland plc.”