A rare chance to return home after the Games, the country’s only chance to host the Winter Games has arrived.
The Irish government announced on Tuesday that it has approved the final bid for the 2019 Winter Olympics in Dublin.
The bid, which was submitted by the Irish government last year, was due to be presented to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by the end of the month, but it was delayed by a week when it emerged that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was considering a rival bid.
A spokesman for the IPC told Irish broadcaster RTE that the IOC has a long process of assessing the potential for the bid to go ahead, and the final decision will be made at a meeting in April.
“We will not be making any decision on this until April and the decision will come from the IOC and then the IACC, and it is expected that that decision will have an impact on the bidding process,” the spokesman said.
Ireland’s bid has received the backing of the Irish Olympic Committee and the Irish Paralympics Committee, which have both said they are confident of the bid’s success.
The IOC, the world governing body for sport, has not yet made a decision about the bid.
The decision to allow the Irish bid to proceed comes after months of speculation that the country would not be allowed to bid.
Irish President Michael D Higgins had suggested in September that the bid could be put on hold until after the IOC’s presidential election in March 2019.
A number of European countries, including France, Spain and Italy, have expressed their interest in the bid, but the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has not commented publicly.