Ministers Donohoe & Ring announce Government support for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at The K Club in 2016

17th November, 2015

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, and Minister of State, Michael Ring TD, announced today (Tuesday) that the Government will provide financial support to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open which will be hosted at The K Club in 2016.


In announcing Government support for the event Minister Donohoe said: ‘As Minister for Tourism and Sport, I am very committed to the Irish Open.  I am happy to confirm that the Government will be supporting the 2016 Irish Open through Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority; and Sport Ireland, the statutory sports agency responsible for the promotion, development and coordination of sport in Ireland. With our abundance of golfing talent the 2016 Irish Open will present a superb opportunity for many of the great players from this island to perform in front of a home crowd, as well as thousands of visitors and millions of television viewers across the globe’.


Minister Ring said; ‘The Irish Open is a very important part of the Irish sporting calendar. Ireland is a superb golfing destination and is well-equipped for all golfing visitors.  Approximately 172,000 visitors have played golf while in Ireland in 2014 and received a warm welcome from the Irish golfing community.  They played on a variety of courses from green parkland to rugged coastal links and everything in between. Ireland has courses to suit every skill level, from beginner to pro, and for every budget.  From internationally renowned courses to welcoming local clubs in every corner of the country, Ireland truly is a golfer’s paradise.  Of course, the Government’s support for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is not just about attracting golf visitors to Ireland. Golf is a very popular participation sport among Irish people and I am very confident that, through the support of Sport Ireland, it can attract more Irish people to get involved in golf in their local clubs’.


The 2016 Irish Open will be hosted by The K Club in Kildare. It will be the first time The K Club has hosted the championship and will come ten years after it staged the 2006 Ryder Cup, when Ian Woosnam memorably led Europe to a record-equalling 18½-9½ victory over the United States.  The K Club hosted the European Open from 1995 to 2007, a tournament which boasted an illustrious list of winners including Major Champions Michael Campbell, Darren Clarke, Retief Goosen and Bernhard Langer, alongside former European Tour Number Ones Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood.


Minister Ring also welcomed confirmation that four-time Major Champion Rory McIlroy will continue as tournament host on behalf of his charitable foundation for the next three years, starting with the 2016 tournament which will be played at The K Club in County Kildare from May 19-22.


The Irish Open has a rich history, having been an ever-present on The European Tour since 1975. Its list of champions features players such as Major Champions: Seve Ballesteros, Michael Campbell, Ben Crenshaw, Sir Nick Faldo, Hubert Green, Padraig Harrington, Bernhard Langer, José Maria Olazábal and Ian Woosnam, alongside eight-time European Number One Colin Montgomerie.