The award from the European Capital of Sport Association is given annually to European towns that are both positive and ethical examples of social policy, so Thurles town take a well deserved bow on achieving the accolade of first European Town of Sport in Ireland and a fitting award for the birthplace of the GAA .
Special congratulations must go to the Mayor of Thurles, Councillor John Kennedy, who together with North Tipperary County Council, LIT and Shannon Development, put in all the hard work, resulting in the achieving of this deserved recognition for Thurles.
Thurles has a wealth of sporting infrastructure with Semple Stadium, Thurles Town FC, Thurles Rugby Club and Thurles Golf Club as just four examples of the numerous state of the art sporting facilities available in the our town. Town Manager, Mr Matt Shortt joined with Thurles Mayor John Kennedy in congratulating all of the groups involved in the project which, he said, “blew away the judging panel.”
Our picture above, taken at the European Capital of Sport Association Awards Ceremony in Brussels shows: Front (left to right) Sean Kelly MEP, Phil Prendergast MEP and Cllr John Kennedy, Mayor of Thurles.
Back (left to right) Michael Ryan Thurles Town Clerk, Brian Keating Regional Development Manager Shannon Development and Kevin O’ Connor New Business Development Manager at Shannon Development.
Speaking about the significance of the award for Thurles, Brian Keating, Shannon Development’s Regional Manager for Tipperary and Offaly stated: “We are delighted to be the first town in Ireland to be awarded the title of European Town of Sport for 2012, following a successful submission from Shannon Development, North Tipperary County Council, LIT Tipperary and North Tipperary Sports Partnership. This award comes at a time when Limerick’s reign as a European City of Sport 2011 draws to a close.”
A county steering group will now be put in place to construct a programme of events for the coming year to celebrate this European recognition. It is estimated that properly promoted, sports events in the Shannon Region could generate an estimated €70m in revenue this year.