Dignam gets dues as An Post deliver Rás a future
A 27-year period is one hell of a long time to sponsor an event -- and not just any old event, as the Rás is synonymous with cycling in Ireland and further afield.
A big thank you has to go to FBD Insurance and the late Philip Fitzsimons for their belief in the race that served both the company and the cycling fraternity over that long period of time so well.
As in life, change happens, and the Rás will too in the years ahead as it comes under the banner of An Post.
Initially, they have taken the reins from FBD, but race director Dermot Dignam and his new working committee will be support crew to An Post for at least the next three years.
Back in the 1980s, Sally Ryan, along with FBD, moved the race on to a new level. The feature of event was that it remained within the remit of the local cyclists.
Sure, it has been hard for them to compete against the highly drilled squads from all over the world who came to win the George Plant Trophy.
Only recently at a funeral for the late JJ McCormack, his son Paul, who won the event back in 1987-88, regaled in his homily to his late father that winning the Rás was the icing on the cake for the McCormack household as it was for many others since the the event was first run in 1951.
FBD's Adrian Taheny said: "FBD were delighted that the race has attracted a quality new sponsor in An Post. They are already very involved with cycling at various levels and it is appropriate that an Irish business such as An Post becomes the new sponsor of the Rás. We wish them every success.
"We want to say a special word of thanks to Dermot Dignam and his wonderful team of volunteers.
"They have given their time, expertise and energy, year in and year out, ensuring this race has grown to the success it is today.
"FBD is currently in discussions with Cycling Ireland in relation to maintaining its commitment to and involvement in the sport."