Travel Weekly's Ireland E-letter: July 14, 2005

WIN BIG: Dublin Tourism is running four contests at its www.visitdublin.com Web site. Internet surfers can enter to win a weekend for two with car rental at Finnstown Country House Hotel in County Dublin; a pair of tickets to see folk band Mozaik at the Celtic Music Festival; a copy of a National Museum of Ireland book; or a meal at Dublins Hard Rock Cafe. Go to www.visitdublin.com/competitions to enter.

 

NEW ROUTES: Irish lowfare airline Ryanair announced two new routes from its Shannon base, to Bristol, England, and Nantes, France. Daily Bristol flights will start daily Oct. 30, while thrice-weekly Nantes service will start Nov. 1. With the additions, Ryanair will serve 16 destinations from Shannon. In addition, Ryanair will up its weekly flight to Frankfurt to four times a week staring Oct. 31. For more, see www.ryanair.com.

US, TOO: Ireland tourism minister John O'Donoghue said London's successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Summer Games will "impact positively" on Irish sport. Noting that Ireland has invested more than ¬610 million in sporting infrastructure in just eight years, the minister opined that Olympic participants headed to the U.K. might make use of Irish facilities before, during and after the Games an "unprecendented opportunity." For more, see www.arts-sport-tourism.gov.ie.

ON THEIR MARK: In other sports news, Ireland and Northern Ireland are launching a joint bid to host a round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) motorsport event, to be titled "Rally Ireland," in 2007. The bid is backed by Motorsport Ireland, Failte Ireland and the Northern Ireland Events Co. A 140-mile pilot event is planned for Oct. 14 to 16 this year, with Sligo in the Republic the host city and a service area at Enniskillen's airport, in the North. For more, see www.failteireland.ie and www.motorsportireland.com.

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