Despite as of yet an official announcement by race organisers – North Antrim MP and road racing fan, Ian Paisley, has said that after speaking to the course clerk Mervyn White yesterday evening, that the difficult decision was taken to postpone this years race event.
The decision was made based on current advice and the prohibition of large gatherings by the government.
In a statement Mr Paisley said:
“Tonight I spoke with the race Clark of the Course, Mervyn White and discussed the 2020 race. He has informed me that the decision has been taken to postpone the race in May, given the government advice on the spread of Coronavirus.
“The announcement by the government to prohibit large gatherings really means that in the interests of public safety it is just not feasible for an event, that attracts up to 100,000 visitors and spectators, to proceed as planned.
“This is not the first time the event has faced such challenges. During the foot and mouth crisis the race was cancelled and during one year a bomb scare seriously disrupted racing.
“The organisers of the race always put NI first and have the interests of Northern Ireland at heart. I know this will be a difficult decision but I can only support the Coleraine and District club for showing leadership.
“This will be a blow to the local community. In fact the local economy stands to lose £12 million in turnover as a result and this will be impossible to replace. I’ve already asked the government to provide rate and vat relief as well as other measures to help the local economy.”