Motorcycle rallies at risk in the Republic due to rising insurance

Motorcycle Rallies At Risk In The Republic Due To Rising Insurance
In previous years insurance cost around €200,000 per year. Photo: Inpho/Matt Mackey
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Vivienne Clarke

Updated at 17:25

The President of Motorcycling Ireland, Sean Bissett, has warned that rallies in the Republic could be at risk because of rising insurance premiums as major motorcycling events in Northern Ireland have been cancelled for this year.


The situation was “not looking good” he told RTÉ radio’s News at One. “we're still waiting, but it's not looking good because we deal with the same brokers and the same insurers (as Northern Ireland)."

In previous years insurance cost around €200,000 per year.

"This year they have not yet been given the amount, but they fear it could be a lot higher, and it would no longer be viable to host events.

“We wouldn't be able to afford it," he said.


Even if spectators were to make a contribution, and that might not be practical given the nature of the sport, he said, it still would not be enough.

Up to 120 events could be impacted by this decision. That includes road racing, short circuits, motocross trials in general and touring. The major events could bring in the region of 20,000 visitors to an area.

“I've been involved with Motorcycling Ireland for 20 years. We never had any difficulty with paying our (insurance) bills or paying the bills on time. And we paid big money all the time.”

When asked if Brexit had been a factor, Mr Bissett said yes, that in the past they had dealt with Northern Irish brokers but due to the Protocol last year they had to deal with a broker registered in Malta.


In a statement from the chairperson of Celtic Bike and Quad Racing (CBQR), William O'Brien said: "We understand that motorsport may not be the most favoured sport by some members of the public but to our members it is their everything.

"For some, it is their passion, their drive in life and even their reason to get up in the morning. In these times it is so important for everyone to have a positive outlook on life. CBQR drive to be in a position where we can provide a safe, structured, friendly, competitive environment for all age groups to enjoy their sport and more importantly."

He said their biggest fear is that younger people will want to get the most out of the investment of their equipment and safety gear before they grow out of it.

"In doing this, they may be going out in areas that are less than suitable and safe and potentially becoming a nuisance to members of the public and a danger to all.


"CBQR believe that if we continue to be unsuccessful in obtaining insurance that people may take these risks into their own hands.

"This is what CBQR want to avoid and encourage people to do it safely by providing them with designated, safe and controlled areas and keeping the public’s and everyone’s," he said.

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