They may have seen the last of the Celtic Tiger in Ireland but not, perhaps, Tiger Woods.
Businessman JP McManus |indicated last night that the world's richest and most talked about sportsman will once again take part in a charity golf event in Limerick later this year.
The prestigious JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am takes place in Adare in July, and a re-appearance by the world's leading golfer at the event would guarantee thousands of extra spectators and reams |of extra coverage in the gossip pages.
Speaking at a civic reception in Limerick City Council yesterday to honour his success at the world's most famous horse race — the Aintree Grand National — earlier this month, Mr McManus said he was looking forward to the charity event.
“I told Tiger 18 months ago about the tournament and he said he would be there and I haven't heard differently, so I take it he'll be there,” he said.
McManus and Woods met recently on the practice range at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia and spoke briefly, but did not discuss the upcoming tournament.
The golfer has attended the event each year since turning professional, but is taking sporadic breaks from the game after admitting to extra-marital affairs.
Yesterday's reception in Limerick saw Mr McManus accompanied by his wife Noreen and children.
He won the Grand National with ‘Don't Push It' — rode by Moneyglass jockey Tony McCoy — earlier this month. It was his first win as owner after 33 unsuccessful attempts.
“I suppose the Grand National is the pinnacle really,” he said.
“I didn't really know how much it meant until I actually won it.
“It meant so much to other people and I'd just like to thank everybody for their messages, good wishes and congratulations.”juin