Republic to host 2026 Ryder Cup at Adare Manor course in Co Limerick
The Irish Republic is to host golf's most prestigious tournament the Ryder Cup in 2026, it can be revealed.
A deal between the European Tour and the Irish Government was agreed just over a week ago and a formal announcement is expected today.
The newly revamped Adare Manor in Limerick will be the venue for what is one of the biggest sporting events in world.
The development caps a spectacular week for Irish golf that saw Offaly man Shane Lowry win The Open at Royal Portrush.
It's understood Sports Minister Shane Ross will bring a memo to Cabinet today seeking permission to enter a financial arrangement with the European Tour, but sources said it's a "done deal".
Talks have been ongoing since last September when senior figures from the European Tour approached the Irish Government to gauge the level of interest in hosting the biennial match between the United States and Europe.
Adare Manor, which is owned by businessman JP McManus, was identified as the most suitable venue. Other European venues were also in the running, including The Belfry, the last English venue to stage the Ryder Cup in 2002.
It's understood the Irish bid was sealed during meetings on the fringes of the Irish Open, which took place in Lahinch earlier this month.
As part of the arrangement, the Irish Government will be expected to fund the long-awaited bypass around the tourist village of Adare.
A planning application is likely to be submitted later this year.
A payment will also be made to the European Tour, but details of this are not expected to be revealed for commercial reasons.
Sources said the potential for tourism and international marketing far outweighs any financial investment the taxpayer will make.
Mr McManus will be responsible for any spending at Adare Manor to get it ready for the best golfers in the world.
Ireland has previously hosted the Ryder Cup only once, at The K Club in 2006.
More than 270,000 people attended last September's contest at Le Golf National to see Europe defeat the United States. Spectators came from 90 different countries to see players including Co Down star Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Today's announcement is likely to fuel interest in the JP McManus Pro-Am, which takes place in Adare next July.
European Tour CEO Keith Pelley attended the official reopening of the revamped course at Adare in April 2018 when Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry played an exhibition match.
However, it is understood intense discussions on the Republic hosting the tournament didn't formally begin until last September.
Earlier this week Mr Ross said Shane Lowry's Open triumph would help Ireland's bid to stage the Ryder Cup in 2026.
"We would absolutely love to see Shane teeing off, and other Irish players, in Adare. It would be absolutely superb," he said.
"We would be optimistic we would be in there with a shout."
But it has now emerged that the bid had already been approved behind closed doors.