The Tandragee 100 Road Races has been cancelled for the second year in a row.
The 2021 event has once again been called off with organisers citing health and safety concerns over Covid-19 for the difficult decision.
The news was announced in a statement from Clerk of the Course Anne Forsythe.
She said: “First and foremost, the safety of our society, more than ever, has to come first. Tonight’s announcement to cancel the 2021 Tandragee 100 National Motorcycle Road Races has been taken with the intention of keeping people safe. We look forward to returning in 2022.
“It is important not only to consider the safety of our volunteers and officials, local residents and landowners, local businesses, the competitors and of course our spectators but also the wider general public. If we are to collectively reduce the spread of the disease and lessen the impact COVID 19 will have in the longer term we believe to gather in large numbers for our event is not appropriate given the circumstances.
“Whilst the implementation of the COVID 19 Vaccines is welcome news, it is likely that only the most vulnerable and our precious HSC workforce will have received the first dose by the end of February with the second dose not completed until potentially the end of May. This will mean the full effect for these groups won’t be galvanised until June. In addition, it is likely that the rest of the population who want to avail of it won’t be vaccinated until autumn 2021.
“At a time when our Health & Social Care Services are once again managing significantly increased demand we must not place an additional strain on their precious resources. Many of our event medical team and first aiders will still be needed to contribute to the HSC response across Northern Ireland and we also would not wish to potentially divert HSC ambulance and hospital resources to deal with any event related requirements. To all those involved in the response to COVID 19 we thank you.
“As a Club we are of course very disappointed to have to take this decision to delay our 60th Anniversary Celebrations for a second time, however, it is the right thing to do. We believe it is important to let everyone involved know at the earliest opportunity, so everyone is not disadvantaged in any way. We will need everyone’s continued support in 2022 to enable us to celebrate our 60th Anniversary and deliver a truly exciting event.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal sponsors for their understanding and support. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this announcement causes. Our overall sponsor Gerard Rice from Around A Pound has indicated his support for this decision and agrees that the health of the population is just too important to jeopardise.
“Never has the phrase ‘all in it together’ been so pertinent and just so important. The COVID 19 vaccines provide the long-term hope and the current lockdown offers the opportunity to shorten the duration of the current surge. We can all play our part too by staying at home, practising social distancing, good hand hygiene and wearing face coverings. We must all put our health first, don’t take any unnecessary risks. Keep up to date with and follow the advice given by the Public Health Agency. Think about the vulnerable in our society and act with compassion towards each other.
“To anyone who is currently affected by COVID 19 and to those who will later become so, you are in our thoughts and prayers not only now but in the coming weeks and months.”