RTÉ’s Nationwide is to broadcast a special programme from North Clare about the preparations ahead of the Dubai Irish Open golf championship in Lahinch next week.
The programme which airs this Wednesday, 26th June will feature many Lahinch businesses including Randaddy’s restaurant, the Lahinch Coast hotel, Vaughan’s lodge, John McCarthy’s Surf school as well as the Lahinch Golf club and the Little Fox restaurant in nearby Ennistymon.
Preparations for the landmark event have stepped up in recent weeks including the installation of purpose-built marquees on both golf courses, road resurfacing and many local businesses painting their premises.
Nationwide presenter Anne Cassin was in Lahinch last week, where she met Lady Captain Helena Tiernan from Lahinch Golf club and John Gleeson, chair of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Committee who told her about the upcoming tournament and the positive effect the event will have on Lahinch.
The Nationwide crew visited John and Brid O’Meara, owners of the Lahinch Coast Hotel which reopened in March this year, following a refurbishment.
Brid O’Meara said: “On the official announcement of Lahinch hosting the event we were delighted to receive the increased business for July as did all the accommodation providers locally. We have also reaped some benefits along the way with some bookings pre event from organisers.”
“It’s a wonderful compliment to Lahinch Golf Club and the village of Lahinch having such a prestigious event hosted locally, the pending event has given the community and businesses a positive drive and a mission to have not only Lahinch but its surrounding areas looking their best. There is a very positive vibe and a sense of excitement which is always motivating and good for our employees also.
Brid said that a few media organisations are staying at the 144 bedroom hotel in order to become familiar with the course and a large radio station has just confirmed it will be broadcasting live from the premises during the Open.
She continued: “The media spotlight and coverage is what will really showcase the natural beauty of Lahinch and the surrounding area. We would also hope that it would plant a seed of thought to viewers to come and visit the area and enjoy all that is on offer like Golf, Surfing, Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and so much more. It’s so important we give all our visitors such a warm welcome and that we help in every way for the event to be a success which we have no doubt it will be.”
She also interviewed Randy Lewis, owner of Randaddy’s restaurant in Lahinch. The Canadian settled in the village over eight years ago and transformed a seafront diner into a 200 seater restaurant which now employs over 30 staff. Randy’s menu is inspired by his extensive travels around the globe, which he believes is perfect for the thousands of international visitors who will come to Lahinch during the championship.
Randy said: “There is going to be a fantastic atmosphere here and huge crowds the like of which has never been seen before in Lahinch. The Open will put us on the international stage and I am delighted to have people from all over Ireland and the world come to Lahinch and see what we have to offer. It’s a hugely positive event and will benefit the whole community for years to come.”
More than 90,000 people are expected to visit Lahinch during the week of the Irish Open, while TV coverage is set to reach an audience of 650 million people.