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Treacy: 'The government have provided very significant funds over the last four years and we hope that will continue'

The CEO also hit back at critics of the Irish athletes’ efforts.

Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council, John Treacy (file photo).
Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council, John Treacy (file photo).

THE CEO OF the Irish Sports Council, J0hn Treacy, has urged the government to continue providing the funds that he believes are paying dividends for Irish sport.

Speaking to TheScore.ie, Treacy said the funds were “hugely important” in aiding Team Ireland’s performances at the Olympics, and added:

“The government have provided very significant funds over the last four years and we hope that will continue. We’d strongly be encouraging the government to continue because the investment does pay off.

“It does take money to win medals because you need to make sure that you have the right coaches in place, you have the right performance directors, you have the right supports in terms of sports science and sports medicine.

“The athletes need to go to the right competitions and the right training camps. All this stuff costs money and if you don’t have the money, the performances will drop off.”

Treacy also emphasised the importance of “planning ahead,” explaining that Team Ireland “were already planning for the next Olympic cycle and for Rio”.

And while indicating Irish athletes are always looking to improve, he hit back at those who criticised their performances at the London Olympics.

“This isn’t a Munster or an All-Ireland final we’re talking about,” he said. “This is truly a global final. You’re competing against the best in the world and I think that’s the significance of this.

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“When you look at other countries and you look at the medal tables, there are countries that haven’t got any performances and got no medals and I think you need to bear that in mind.”

Meanwhile, as far as standout performances at the Olympics were concerned, there were little surprises as to the identity of the athletes that Treacy singled out:

“In boxing, there were many outstanding performances. Katie was magnificent, Annalise Murphy was magnificent, Cian O’Connor was magnificent — you could go down through the whole list. Even Natalya Coyle, who was a big surprise finishing ninth.

“Rob Heffernan was fantastic as well, he had a great performance on Saturday finishing fourth and Olive Loughnane had a great performance in finishing 13th.”

And of all the aforementioned athletes, Annalise Murphy will arguably be the one most contemplative of what might have been, given that she failed to secure a medal in spite of her hugely positive start in the sailing.

However, Treacy believes Murphy’s impact on the Games, and the Irish team in general, should not be underestimated.

“I think it was really important at the start of these games that Annalise got the whole campaign off on a very positive note. That does filter down through the team when you hear that a team-mate is winning races. That sets the tone.”

Read: ‘He’s still our wee brother’: Conlan family welcome their bronze medal hero home>

Read: VIDEO: Ireland welcomes home its Olympians>

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