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Irish sport to receive €65m in additional funding this year

The announcement was made today by Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, and the Minister of State for Sport, Jack Chambers.

Image: Ben Brady/INPHO

AN ADDITIONAL €65 million will be made available to the Irish sport sector this year.

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport announced the package today as part of a Covid-19 investment programme.

Along with the €26.3m already provided to Sport Ireland, it brings the total funding for 2021 to €91.3m.

The aim is to support Ireland’s national governing bodies of sport, local sports partnerships and other funded bodies, which have been impacted by restrictions introduced to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The sport sector has been, and continues to be, severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin.

“Throughout this period, we have been continuously engaging with the sector, and we know that sporting bodies and clubs have been severely hit in every aspect of their operations, not least financially.

“This further allocation of €65 million will allow Sport Ireland, through a number of different schemes, to assist those sporting bodies and clubs which are in greatest need, as we strive to ensure that our sporting sector is supported at every level across the country.”

It will be broken down into the following five sectors:

  • Field Sport funding to support the main field sports, i.e. the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU
  • A Resilience Fund to support the other National Governing Bodies of Sport
  • A Sports Club Resilience Fund to support clubs from all sports
  • A Swimming Pools/Facilities Fund
  • A Resumption of Sport & Physical Activity Fund

Minister of State with responsibility for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers added: “I am very pleased that we are able to continue to support our sporting bodies. Last year, our Covid-19 support funding helped ensure that our sporting bodies were in a position to maintain operations, avoid insolvency and prepare for a return to activity.

“The funding also provided support with Covid-19 related costs and losses in 166 Rugby clubs, over 400 grassroots and League of Ireland clubs along with 33,271 Gaelic games teams. In addition, support was provided to 1,637 clubs throughout the country through small grants operated by Local Sports Partnerships.

We have seen the positive impact that the return of sporting fixtures has had across the country these past few months. However, there is a lot more work to be done. Many organisations and clubs have lost huge amounts of revenue, as their activities have been severely curtailed.

“The indoor sports sector has been particularly badly hit, with indoor sports only set to resume their activities this month. I hope that this funding will go a long way to assisting our sporting organisations and clubs and enable them to recover fully as we emerge from this pandemic.”

Reacting to the announcement, Chairman of Sport Ireland Kieran Mulvey said: “While society and economy continues to recover after a difficult 18 months, many challenges still lay ahead for our National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships and sports clubs.

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“We are grateful for the ongoing support of Minister Martin, Minister Chambers and their colleagues in Government, who have responded positively to the representations made by Sport Ireland and the wider sport sector.

“The funding announced by the Ministers provides certainty in planning and stability as the sport sector continues to reopen and we look forward with positivity and optimism as the sport at large gets back on its feet.”

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