3, Ireland’s largest high speed network, and The European Tour today announced that Padraig Harrington will play at this year’s 3 Irish Open, when the tournament returns to Killarney Golf and Fishing Club from 29th July to 1st August.


Padraig Harrington is ready to make the 3 Irish Open a family affair over the August Bank Holiday weekend at the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club.


The three-time Major Champion, Ireland’s most successful golfer, will be joined in Killarney by wife Caroline and two sons Patrick and Ciaran as he bids to win the 3 Irish Open for the second time in his career.


There will be no shortage of family entertainment for the Harrington clan as dad goes about his business on the golf course, with the 3 Irish Open’s spectator village boasting a purpose-built kids’ playground, an interactive zone boasting golf simulators and instruction bays as well as a sports bar, coffee shops and food stalls.


When the golf is finished for the day, families can move back to Killarney to enjoy the SummerFest with a huge amount of live music and street entertainment throughout the town.


Harrington said: “I’ll be heading down to Killarney with the family in tow and we are looking forward to a great week at the 3 Irish Open. There should be a real festival atmosphere in Killarney with the tournament and all of the other holiday activities arranged that weekend so it will be the place to be for the Bank Holiday weekend.


“Hopefully this year, with the change of date to the August Bank Holiday weekend, we can see the Irish Open starting to restore its former reputation of being a great week on Tour that all the players want to come and bring their families to.


“Everyone always talks of the glory years of the 1980s and early 90s and we want to get back to that era, when players wanted to come to Ireland to play our great courses and take advantage of that unique hospitality. We have to stop talking about it and get behind the tournament again and, thankfully, that seems to be the case this year.


“There is growing support for the tournament in Killarney and everything is in place to make it a great week. We should have a strong field this year and a lot of guys will be coming to Ireland to try and secure their places in The Ryder Cup Team, so I think the field will get stronger over the coming weeks.”


Robert Finnegan, CEO of 3, said: “I’m delighted to announce Padraig Harrington’s commitment to play at this year’s 3 Irish Open. Padraig encapsulates exactly what we are aiming to achieve for this year’s event – a hugely successful golfer who is excited about the family aspect of this year’s 3 Irish Open.  We are all looking forward to a fantastic weekend of golf with something for everyone in Killarney this August Bank Holiday. We invite every Irish golf fan to come along to Killarney Golf and Fishing Club and get behind Padraig at the 3 Irish Open 2010.”


George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “As one of the biggest names in golf, Padraig Harrington is one of the most high profile players anywhere in the world. The fact that he is Ireland’s greatest ever player makes him an irresistible draw to the 3 Irish Open – we are sure that Ireland’s golfing community will be out in force at the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club to cheer on their most famous son.”


Harrington will join world number three Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy as one of the star attractions at the 3 Irish Open. Fans hoping to see Harrington, Westwood and McIlroy in action can still purchase discounted tickets to the 3 Irish Open, which are available at all 3Stores,  at www.europeantour.com/tickets and at www.ticketmaster.ie as well as through Ticketmaster booths across Ireland.