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Funding for Irish sport reduced to €8.73 per citizen

The Federation of Irish Sport has expressed its disappointed at a further €3.1 million cut to the Irish Sports Council’s funding.

Image: Patrick Semansky/AP/Press Association Images

FUNDING FOR IRISH sport has been rolled back to 2006 levels, a measure that is “particularly damaging” given that meaningful investment only began seven years prior to that, the Federation of Irish Sport has said today following the Budget 2014 announcement.

The Irish Sports Council will receive about €40 million next year, a reduction of about €3.1 million on 2013 figures.

“We are extremely disappointed with today’s announcement which sees a further 8% reduction in current funding for Irish Sport,” said the representative body.

“This is the funding that enables over 100 Irish Sports organisations to run sports development programmes essential to delivering sporting opportunities to all, provide much needed support to grassroots clubs and volunteers as well as providing assistance to our international athletes.”

It is the sixth year in a row of cuts, with investment in sport falling some 25 per cent in that period.

“Funding for sport through the Irish Sports Council now amounts to a spend of just €8.73 per citizen,” continued chief executive Sarah O’Connor, who has requested a meeting with the Minister for Sport Leo Varadkar and his officials.

O’Connor believes the fall in sports funding will put added stress on the health budget in later years.

The overall investment in sport at €40 million for 2014 represents just 0.003 per cent of the €13.3 billion projected health spend.

“Cuts to sports funding are at odds with wider government policies and counter intuitive as sporting events have proven to be key drivers in boosting tourism figures during the Gathering,” she argued.

“As we slowly emerge from recession it is short sighted and unnecessary to target one of the performing sectors in the economy which has the potential to further create sustainable, indigenous employment and economic growth.”

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