Ciara Horne declares for Great Britain; blames lack of money in Cycling Ireland

Posted on: July 4th, 2012

Ciara Horne

Track and road rider Horne will no longer ride for Ireland having declared for GB


Ciara Horne, who has raced internationally for Ireland specialising in track events, has declared for Great Britain saying Cycling Ireland’s reduced budget does not fit with her plans to medal at a future Olympics.

British-born, Horne has been part of the Irish set-up in recent years and was one of a relatively small number of riders to receive funding from the Irish Sports Council.

She was part of the women’s team pursuit squad that tried unsuccessfully to qualify on the track for the London Olympics. She has also ridden on the road for Ireland.

Her decision to declare for Great Britain, where she is based, and to renounce her Irish citizenship in the process was confirmed by Cycling Ireland this afternoon, Wednesday.

She suggested that a lack of resources and funding in Ireland had been the key factors in her decision to declare for GB.

Cycling Ireland issued a statement wishing Horne all the best in her cycling career. The association also released correspondence apparently from Horne to Cycling Ireland in which she effectively resigns from the Irish set-up and outlines her reasons for doing so. The full text of that correspondence reads:

To whom it may concern,

“I would like to confirm that in accordance with the UCI’s regulations regarding change of nationality, I have renounced my Irish citizenship and, living in England, will now be trying to establish myself on the British racing scene.”

“The truth is that it costs an awful lot to fund an elite athlete and Cycling Ireland has a very limited, and now reduced, budget. I would like to thank Cycling Ireland for the opportunities they have given me and in particular Geoff Liffey for his integrity and honesty about my future prospects in Cycling Ireland as a result of the reduced budget assigned to them.”

“I came to Cycling Ireland with the dream of becoming the first Irish cyclist to win an Olympic medal but the scale of the challenge and the level of dedication and support to compete at this level should not be underestimated.”

Yours faithfully

Ciara Horne

Efforts by stickybottle in recent weeks to contact Horne have not been successful. We’ll have more on this later so please keep an eye out for that.

Horne’s departure to the GB fold comes at a time when Cycling Ireland, like all sporting and other publicly funded bodies in Ireland, has had its budget cut significantly due to the continued poor state of the public finances. Much of the funding for individual athletes comes from the Irish Sports Council, which has also been hit badly in the recession.