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Minister warns of uncertainty for tourism as no-deal Brexit still possible

Minister warns of uncertainty for tourism as no-deal Brexit still possible

Mr Ross also gave details of €800,000 in additional sport funding this year most of which will go towards Irish competitors’ training for the Olympics and Paralympics.

The tourism industry is one of the sectors that is set to be worst hit by Brexit.

Mr Ross warned: “The new deadline for Brexit means that the UK can still leave with ‘No Deal’ if the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU is not ratified by Parliament by 31st January 2020.”

He added: “As a result, it’s vital that my Department continues to take steps to provide as much certainty as possible in our source Tourist Markets.”

Fáilte Ireland is getting €1m to spend on domestic marketing to promote tourism in the border counties.

And Tourism Ireland is spending €6m on “a programme of reassurance concerning Ireland as a Tourist destination, given the uncertainties raised by Brexit.”

The countries to be targeted are the UK, Germany, France and the USA, Mr Ross said.

He added that the Budget provides for €40m in extra funding for tourism next year “in case there’s a no-deal Brexit.

“We hope that won’t occur.”

Mr Ross was speaking at the Oireachtas Transport, Tourism and Sport Committee where he delivered the details of €10m in supplementary funding for this year.

Chairman Fergus O’Dowd of Fine Gael welcomed the €800,000 in funding to Sport Ireland for high performance sports.

He asked if minority sports and women’s sport – including Ireland’s successful hockey team – will be getting funding.

Mr Ross said minority sports and the women’s hockey team are “fully funded” to the end of 2019.

The Olympic Federation of Ireland is getting €250,000 and the same sum is being set allocated for Paralympics preparations.

Rowing is getting €70,000 as is Horse Sport Ireland. The Irish Athletic Boxing Association is getting €50,000, Swim Ireland is getting €40,000 and Cycling Ireland is getting €40,000.

Gymnastics Ireland have been allocated €30,000.

In relation to Transport €617,000 has been allocated to the Medical Bureau of Road Safety.

Of this €309,000 is to purchase more preliminary breath test devices for Gardaí this year to test drivers for alcohol consumption.

Mr O’Dowd asked about the reasons for this or if there’s a malfunction of the existing devices.

Mr Ross said the funding is being allocated to ensure there are enough devices adding: “It would be appalling if they actually ran out.”

He said the provision of funding is “just being prudent”.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) is getting €583,000 to purchase approximately 325,000 anonymous Leap cards “in order to ensure that sufficient stocks are in place early next year,” Mr Ross also said.

Online Editors