€100k Ras boost to economy

A major international cycling competition scheduled to take place in Longford this weekend is set to provide a €100,000 boost to the local economy, the Leader understands.

A major international cycling competition scheduled to take place in Longford this weekend is set to provide a €100,000 boost to the local economy, the Leader understands.

The first stage of the prestigious An Post Ras takes place on Sunday and the event will be a welcome boost for the local economy.

Now in its 60th year, the An Post Ras event is readily viewed as being Ireland’s number one cycling contest, set across eight action packed days.

This time around, Longford is hosting the closing action from its first stage when cyclists complete the gruelling 135km trek from Dunboyne, Co Meath.

“We are expecting over 700 people and many more who are likely to come in and watch the cyclists arrive into the town,” said a decidedly excited Chamber of Commerce President Seamus Butler.

As the event’s chief protagonists, Chamber officials, according to Mr Butler began working on the project as early as last October.

“Although we knew about this for a while, we couldn’t say anything until January when An Post made their own official announcement,” he said.

Reserving special mention for Longford Local Authorities and the GAA who have rowed in behind the occasion, Mr Butler said Sunday’s showcase promises to be one of Longford’s most significant episodes of this year’s Gathering initiative.

“It’s just massive,” he confidently put it. “We are expecting the cyclists to be in at around 3 to 3:30pm and the great thing is we are also utilising Connolly Barracks for the occasion too.”

The general public should note that there will be a rolling road closure along the race route - these are temporary closures for 15 to 20 minutes.

No parking will be permitted on Main Street, Longford on Sunday, May 19 from 9am until 6pm. Traffic restrictions in town from 3.20pm to 4.45pm
-times are estimated and weather dependant.

There will be lots of entertainment for all the family and Shannonside Radio will broadcast from Main Street. Winners of the An Post National School Art Competition will also be presented with their prizes on the Winners Podium outside the Courthouse.