The Motorcycle Union of Ireland has issued an ‘open and honest update’ following on from the decision to cancel all two-wheeled race events in Northern Ireland due to crippling insurance costs.
In a statement last week, Tandragee 100 club secretary of the North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club, Anne Forsythe, said that it is “with regret”, the Around A Pound Tandragee 100 has been cancelled citing increases to insurance premiums as one of the main reasons for the decision.
Other cancelled events include the North West 200, Cookstown 100, Armoy Race of Legends and Ulster Grand Prix.
Last night (Saturday), John Dillon, MCUI UC (Chairman) issued an update to on the current situation stating:
“As Chairman of the MCUI (UC) I feel it is essential to give an open and honest update regarding the current situation affecting us all within our sport at the present time.
Whilst I fully appreciate and fully understand this is a confusing and anxious time for competitors and promoting clubs, I can assure everyone that some people within the Ulster Centre are doing all in their power and giving a lot of their time up, to bring the situation forward to ensure competitors and promoting clubs can get back promoting and competing 2023”
Last week hopes of a chequered flag being hoisted at the Tandragee 100 later this year were raised thanks to an incredible fundraising drive by the Motorcycle Union of Ireland in Ulster, which to date (Sunday February 19), has raised over £81,000 towards insurance premiums.
The club states they are “encouraging all competitors to apply for their licences for the incoming year and state the MCUI UC can give start permissions for competitors wishing to participate in events outside MCUI UC jurisdiction. However, currently the MCUI UC cannot provide Personal Accident Insurance to those who seek any start permission (this may change if agreement is reached in relation to costs (explained in full detail) of which competitors and clubs will be required to pay for this service, should a policy be taken out to provide PA insurance)”
“I also have a meeting with an outside company making a presentation to offer Personal Accident Insurance (on an individual basis to competitors) this week. This will be a yearly policy of which competitors can take out at a very reasonable price, of which will cover all benefits which the MCUI UC policy provided in 2022, repatriation for events outside of Northern Ireland is also included within the policies being presented. If acceptable and adequate cover is detailed within these presentations, full details will be published so all competitors can take advantage of the company who wish to provide this service to competitors.
Public Liability Insurance for Events.
We are in constant talks to get this situation to move forward, whilst also being fully aware of the timeframe now involved to get events up and running for 2023. I can only ask for everyone’s patience and ask that everyone understand, even though this is not the fault of MCUI UC for the incredible hike in insurance costs for 2023, please allow myself and others to hold intense talks and allow other factors such as crowd funding to complete over the next 10/14 days for a last attempt to get our season up and running”.
Previously the club stated of the insurance premiums; “This was not just a significant increase but an increase of over three times the premium for 2022 and with the added pressure of a substantial excess figure, should a claim arise, that is again insurmountable”
Concluding John Dillon, MCUI UC (Chairman) stated “after this period of approximately 10/14 days, we will most certainly be in a definite position to provide answers in relation to the 2023.
Whilst being completely open and honest, I do have to advise that it was unsettling to hear, that those who are providing PL insurance for our events, have highlighted recent activity on social media and are becoming extremely ‘spooked’… for this reason I ask everyone to consider the effects of postings/comments on social media platforms!! It is now indirectly having a major effect on the possibility of getting racing going in 2023.
Finally, I can assure both competitors and promoting clubs, I along with a few others will do everything in our power to get competitors and clubs back doing what they love in 2023”