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GAA, IRFU and FAI to receive €57 million in Covid-related Government funding

The funding is intended to help sports organisations to recover and grow post pandemic.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE GAA, IRFU and FAI are set to receive a combined €57 million from the Government as part of a €73.6 million package of Covid-19 related funding for all sports.

A further €5.3m is being allocated for sporting equipment. This includes the roll out of defibrillators for clubs, kits for school children and state of the art equipment for high-performance athletes.

The €73.6m in Covid funding is being allocated under five separate streams to help sports organisations to recover and grow post pandemic, support the grassroots network of clubs and local sports partnerships, and ensure people of all ages and abilities return to sport and physical activity.

The GAA set to receive €20 million, the IRFU has been granted €19 million while a separate €18 million has been assigned to the FAI.

Today’s announcement follows a commitment of a €65 million Covid-19 investment programme from Sports Minister Catherine Martin, and Junior Sports Minister Jack Chambers.

“There has been a very robust process from Sport Ireland where they have engaged with every sporting organisation to look at their losses and solvency,” Chambers said on The Today programme on RTÉ Radio.

“March 2020 had a very devastating impact on the sporting system; empty stadia, no spectators, and drops in membership. What we have tried to do is to give stabilisation and survival to the sport system. We are now looking at our sporting organisations and that their grassroots and development systems are maintained.

“We can hopefully look forward in a positive way to 2022, after a very robust assessment and evaluation with all sporting organisations in how we can maintain their operations and ensure their financial viability.

“The state has put in hundreds of millions into our sport system for decades and to lose that with concerns around the ongoing operation of the sport system in the short-term would really undermine grassroots participation.

“That’s why all sporting organisations are going to benefit from this fund.”

Minister Catherine Martin TD added:

“As a nation so fond of sports, we are very supportive of our clubs, our competitors and of course everyone who enjoys physical activity. But the last two years have been two of the most challenging for all sports organisations and the announcement of this funding will come as a relief for the sports sector.

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“It’s important that the sport sector is on a firm financial footing. The additional funding, coupled with the increase in the budget for sport in 2022, will ensure the long-term viability of our sports organisations, high performance sport and will make sure sport remains accessible to all.

“These emergency funds will reach all corners of the country, a myriad of activities and ensure clubs and grassroots groups continue their great work.”

Further information on a full breakdown of the funding allocations for each sport is available here.

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