Final decision on Rás Tailteann future delayed for short period

Posted on: January 25th, 2019

Irish cycling is waiting for great news or the worst news about Rás Tailteann. But we need to wait a little longer before we know how it’s going to go. Eimear Dignam, above, will have to make the call as race director (Photo: Bryan Keane – inpho)


A final call on whether Rás Tailteann will be held this year has been delayed by another week.

Race director Eimear Dignam previously indicated a decision would be made today, or close to.

However, with talks still continuing with a possible new backer, it has been decided to wait for another week.

There had been two possible backers in talks with the race organisers, though that is now down to one and has been for several weeks.

It is understood Dignam and her team want to afford one more week to the company they have continued talks with.

Without a new sponsor it seems the race will not go ahead this year, for the first time since the 1950s.


Rás Tailteann is facing uncertainty but hopefully it will go ahead this year (Photo: Bryan Keane – Inpho)


The event had been sponsored for many years by FBD Insurance before Ireland’s national postal service, An Post, stepped in.

However, after a decade involved with the race An Post ended its cycling-related sponsorships in the 2016-2017 period.

And while Rás Tailteann went ahead last year without a title sponsor, cash reserves saved in a ‘rainy day fund’ were used.

And because those funds were all spent last year, the money that a new sponsor would bring is required to make the race possible this time around.

Rás Tailteann has been run without interruption since 1953. However, it took many years to develop into the international eight-day event we now know.

The minimum cost of €280,000 to run the race last year absorbed every penny of the cash in reserve that was built up.

A race route has already been drawn up and the race organisers have kept in contact with international and domestic teams.

It means Dignam and her team have done a lot of work to ensure the 2019 edition is effectively ready to go if and when a sponsor is found.

However, the time frame for booking hotels and inviting international teams is now becoming critical.