The Donegal Motor Club has announced the postponement of the Shell Donegal International Rally, due to be held on 15 - 17 June, because of the continuing foot and mouth crisis. Clerk of the Course Charlie Reid explained that following a meeting of the Organisers on Monday, the decision was taken that the Rally cannot proceed on its original dates.

However, a possibility remains that it might take place later in the year. "We have been monitoring the situation closely but believe that the date in June is just too soon to expect this crisis to have passed,” said Reid. “Many of our Club members are directly affected and we are mindful that the farming community in Donegal have always been very supportive of the Rally. We do not want to run any event that poses a serious risk to them."

Reid expressed his disappointment at the postponement but said that both sponsors and members were supportive of the decision. Describing the Rally as the “single biggest tourist event in the region,” he said that they hoped to engage with Motorsport Ireland and other relevant bodies to see if the event can take place later in the year.

“The Rally brings in excess of £15m to the County and we hope this loss can be avoided,” Reid said. “Our plans are at an advanced stage and we will be ready to run the event at short notice if it is safe to do so. Right now our thoughts are with the farming community and all those affected by the foot and mouth crisis."

Filed by Shane Stokes