Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross T.D. and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D. today congratulated the winning hosts of the Rugby World Cup 2023, France and thanked all the parties who produced a World Class Bid from Ireland.
The first round finished with France on 18 votes, 1995 hosts South Africa on 13 and Ireland, who've yet to be the main hosts of a World Cup, eight.
"Unfortunately, it's unlikely that I'll be lacing up my boots when that time comes but I'll look forward to playing my part from the stands alongside the world's greatest supporters".
"World Rugby needs to decide what sort of tournament it wants", said Philip Browne, CEO of the Irish Union.
But France received a majority backing (24 of 39 votes) in the second round compared to South Africa's 15.
Argentina, Australia, England, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales had three votes apiece.
"We thank World Rugby for replying to our letter".
"I believe that a tournament in Ireland would have been like no other".
"We have said throughout that we would honour both the letter and the spirit of the process and we now consider the 2023 bidding process closed".
"We did dispute some aspects but I'm not saying that's why we won", he said.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt had been convinced his side's record 30-3 thumping of the Springboks in Dublin on Saturday could swing the vote of World Rugby's member nations, but that hope has now been dashed.
"It will be for the next generation of SA Rugby leaders to decide whether to compete for the 2027 tournament or beyond", he said.
"We did everything in our power to bring the tournament to South Africa and we expected to have that right confirmed".
"We can not hide our desolation but, for the sake of rugby we wish the 2023 tournament hosts every success". "When the Fifa World Cup was held there in 2010, we had a more than 20 percent uptake in players".
"It will be played out in reality that a country coming from a sad past, we will have achieved Nelson Mandela's dream of a true rainbow nation".
"That recommendation was questioned last week by rivals, but endorsed a second time by World Rugby last week".