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Government to provide €70 million Covid-19 funding package for Irish sport

The FAI, the GAA and the IRFU will collectively receive up to €40million.

The Aviva Stadium
The Aviva Stadium
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

THE GOVERNMENT ARE set to provide €70 million in funding to assist Irish sport after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The funding will see the three main sporting organisations – the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU – receive up to €40m, which will be allocated on a case-by-case basis and will be a direct response to each of their specifc needs with regard to ‘solvency and continued excistence’.

The announcement was made this evening by Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin.

Earlier Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had revealed that all sporting events can resume from 29 June.

A resilience fund of up to €10m will be made available for the other national governing bodies, ‘who find themslves in need of assistance to avoid closing’.

Separately there will be €15m made available in the form of a sports club resilience fund, where clubs will be required to demonstrate they are in need of assistance to avoid closing.

Then €5m will be used for a sports restart and renewal fund, targeting sports clubs who are deemed ineligible for the Government’s restart grants scheme.

The funding will be invested through four new grant schemes to be developed by Sport Ireland and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. 

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a-view-of-croke-park-after-the-gaa-this-evening-released-their-safe-return-to-gaelic-games-document Croke Park Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Sport Ireland will distribute the funding and they will also conduct a ‘robust grant application and assessment process’ for funding allocations to national governing bodies and clubs.

“The sport sector has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and many sporting bodies and clubs are experiencing significant financial challenges,” said Minister Ross.

“We have had extensive contact with the sector and it is clear that the challenge is enormous and is being felt at every level. While the scale of this package may seem extraordinarily large, it merely reflects the enormity of the challenges being faced by our sporting bodies.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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