Newry and Mourne set to turn pink

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

PARTS of the Newry and Mourne area will turn pink as the world famous bike race, The Giro d'Italia scorches is way through Newtownhamilton, Belleeks, Lislea and Forkhill on Sunday, May 11.
In an information roadshow at Bagenal's Castle yesterday, Newry and Mourne's Paddy Duffy told the full room that the council intend to turn the iconic pink Giro character Freddie Forde into Fionn McCool as the race crosses the border between Forkhill and Dundalk.
For those who haven't been caught up in the Giro fever, the professional bike race, second only to the Tour de France, will be one of the biggest sporting events ever to come to Ireland. The famous pink jersey is awarded to the leader of the race.
The statistics of the event are mind-boggling. The race is coming to Ireland on May 9-11 with two stages in Belfast and the third (and last) one from Belfast to Dublin. It is estimated up to 800 million people will watch it globally. Indeed 174 countries have signed on for television rights.
On Monday at the information roadshow District Development officer Gerard McGivern hosted the event and said his council were right behind the race and would do everything in their power to welcome the tens of thousands of visitors to the Newry and Mourne area.
And he said his council would help spice up the 'everything-is-pink' theme of the race.
Duncan McCauseland of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board spoke at the roadshow as did mayor Michael Ruane who said: "The Giro will provide excellent coverage opportunities for the area as it will be viewed by approximately 800 million people worldwide."

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