2012 Irish Open: Executive swingers


In the absence of a backer from the private sector the Northern Ireland Executive has stepped in and taken on the main sponsorship of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush which is to tee off in six weeks time; and with excitement around the showcase event amplifying by the day ticket sales have said to be unprecedented.

The pride of Northern Ireland golfing and Major winners Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke will all be in attendance as well as the likes of reigning USPGA champion Keegan Bradley and crowd pleaser John Daly. With such a strong roster of world class golfers the event is certainly teeing up to be quite the spectacle, something which can only go to further entrench Ireland’s place on the global golfing map and augment our reputation as a leading destination for golf enthusiasts.

In every sense one can expect that as long as nothing disastrous happens that this summer’s Irish Open at Portrush will confirm the club’s credentials and act as a trial to Royal Portrush’s capacity to hold a future British Open.

Anyway I decided to produce a light hearted and more jovial cartoon on the matter that depicts our First Minister and deputy First Minister swinging around on the green; after all we all remember the now infamous occasion when Peter and Martin were given a golfing lesson by Northern Ireland golfing’s finest, Mr. Rory McIlroy, when our deputy First Minister nearly took out one of his advisors. As such I think this cartoon is rather fitting and your comments and captions are welcomed!

Brian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger.

Actively tweeting from @brianjohnspencr. More information here: http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/

  • cynic2

    So how many free tickets are being doled out to executive members then?

    And will all that drink end up being declared? After all, we will be paying for it

  • Cynic 2

    I think he’s got his predictive text on….

  • sdelaneys

    ‘ At least we can’t do much real harm here Peter.’

  • Mark

    A little disappointing that none of the big guns in the corporate world would sponsor the Irish Open this year . If what you say is true( and i’ve no reason not to believe you ) that ticket sales are through the roof , then it looks like the private sector have missed the boat on this one .

  • jthree

    Sponors aren’t stupid. Outside of the biggest tournaments the most attractive events are the Middle Eastern/ Asian bits of the European tour. Where all the growth potential and money is. The Irish Open is not of much interest beyond these shores.

  • Mark

    With all the talk about Portrush maybe holding the Open and the success of the three lads , there seems to be an extra buzz about this year’s event , the tickets sales are up , we’re all suppose to be moving forward together and to be associated with an event like that makes for good business sense …..

  • andnowwhat

    Hopefully, people will remember this when a much needed voluntary service goes to the wall. How about that day unit for people with special needs in the Antrim that’s going to shut because the board won’t cough up it’s wack?

    At least the clientele will have the time on their hands to watch men bang a ball around a field.

  • BluesJazz

    It’s a tiny peripheral sports event. Every year the media claims the ‘International’ NW 200 attracts 100,000 spectators, it doesn’t and neither will this parochial event.
    But hey, if it keeps hospital waiting lists out of the news, then the BBC are only too happy to oblige.

  • andnowwhat

    Well said BlueJazz.

    The Wendy Austins of NI will be over the moon.

    Given the tax incentives for sponsorship, why didn’t NI’s beloved golfing’s holy trinity not pay up, whole or in part?

  • Mark

    The Holy Trinity Irish Open …no problem getting sponsorship for that .

  • The Raven

    As I noted from Twitter this evening, 3G has arrived for Portrush – but not Portstewart or other surrounding areas, for whom it’s a daily tariff fight between O2.ie and O2.uk in moving from the front room to the kitchen.

    I wonder, how long would the existing rate-paying, tax-paying residents would have had to have waited before the town tart-up if the Irish Open *hadn’t* been coming? Also, am I now empowered to write to the Executive and demand that similar work on eyesores around the Province is included in next year’s budget? Bushmills, anyone…? Our favourite developer could do with a helping hand there…

  • BluesJazz

    Can anyone remember who won last years ‘Irish Open’?
    Thought not:

    The football equivalent:

    But sure the BBC will make sure this thrilling event is given maximum coverage and patronage.

  • iluvni

    Dont worry, Darren, Rory and Graeme will be returning their prize money to the people of Northern Ireland……

  • seamus60

    Been mentioned some where that main sponsors for such events normally come on board a year or two beforehand in order to get their full potential.

  • Scáth Shéamais

    Every year the media claims the ‘International’ NW 200 attracts 100,000 spectators, it doesn’t and neither will this parochial event.

    With events like these the tendency is to add up the numbers from each of the several days that they last and ignore that the same people will be going to many if not all of the days.

  • Not sure why the golfers themselves are getting a bitching here – plenty of well paid footballers discussed on this forum without reference to schools or hospitals BUT…

    It’s one thing for a State to be lender/investor of last resort in something like a bank but it is incredible that the European Tour has thrown up their hands and left it to NI to bankroll this tournament.

    On a transport forum I frequent there was an inquiry about whether special trains would run from south of the Border to Portrush to ease the transportation burden. The answer is no, due in part to the failure of NIR and IE to certify the Enterprise sets anywhere north of Belfast, but I also noted that since there is no wifi on the trains, how would the golfers follow the action when yet another “security incident” unfolds in Lurgan?

  • All because Arlene Foster wants even more money being taken from the poor and given to millionaires just so Norn iron can bring in a few tourists and get noticed How clinging and needy is this place? Freud would have a field day on this if he was around.

  • cynic2

    and today two junior ministers managed to shoot themselves in the foot with shotguns by alleging that NI gold clubs are rife with bigots ….and middle class bigots to boot

    Nice play guys. Pump millions in to develop golf tourism on one side and then torpedo it on the other.

    I assume this performance is why they are called ‘junior’ ministers

  • cynic2

    I see bell has had his clapper removed

  • Mark

    Yeah why are the golfers gettin stick . They were the best thing since sliced pan a few months ago , all the exposure , the chance of the ” famous ” British open coming to Northen Ireland ? .

  • iluvni

    what a buck eejit.

  • Jack2

    Cynic2, NI Politics is based on kicking them’uns whoever they maybe.

    Bell plays the sectarian card as its usually a safe bet with their voters.
    Martina Anderson plays the jealousy card – thinking that Sinn Fein voters are mostly lower income.

    Both these idiots are willing to torpedo NI players wonderful achievements throughout the year for the sake of grandstanding in the spotlight kicking the perceived enemy.

  • andnowwhat

    I do feel as British as Fichley.

    A sporting event that’s no more that window dressing that’s going to cost the public money but benefit few. It’s like Bourjois 2012

  • Skinner

    What a miserable bunch you all are! Good job you guys are not in charge or NI would be forty shades of grey. There’ll be no crowd until the crowd gathers, as someone better than me once said. Events like these are the equivalent of a street performer setting out his equipment in elaborate fashion. Power on, I say.