Charities Regulation Consultation

The Charities Act, 2009 when enacted included a specific ban on sporting organisations as entities to which charitable status could be granted. This is something the Federation of Irish Sport objected to at the time. However, most of the Act which amongst other things provided for the setting up of a Charities Regulator never came into force.

Life has recently been breathed into the legislation again with the Department for Justice & Equality opening a consultation process on plans to bring the Act into force.  Whilst the focus of the consultation centres on the establishment of the Regulator given the financial constraints the State is under, the Federation intends to raise the concerns of the sport sector at their specific exclusion from the Act as part of the process.

On announcing the consultation Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter said:

 “Charities play a vital role in our society and economy. We want to support them in this by putting in place a system of regulation that is proportionate, responsive, and sensitive to the needs and concerns of both charities themselves and the donor public.”

We have delayed bringing this legislation into force as we considered how  best to achieve the objectives of the Act in a context of Government  spending reductions. While this is clearly going to be challenging, it remains my view that there is both a need and widespread support for effective and affordable regulation of the charities sector. The Charities Act 2009 provides the framework for this. Working within this framework with flexibility and creativity, I am confident that we can support public trust and confidence in the charities sector, as well as assisting charities to achieve and maintain high standards of governance and accountability. Charities are the recipients of significant investment – from the donor public, from their volunteers and workers, and from the taxpayer through Government grants and contracts for services. It is in all our interests that this investment is safeguarded, managed effectively, and ultimately benefits the charitable purpose it is intended for. The statutory regulation of charities will support this.

So that we can achieve this goal in the current budgetary circumstances, I am proposing that charities will be asked to pay a modest and proportionate annual fee to contribute to the costs of maintaining the statutory Register of Charities which is one of the key provisions of the Charities Act. Some initial suggestions on how this might be implemented are contained in the consultation paper.

I encourage anyone with an interest in the charities sector to participate in this consultation and look forward in particular to the engagement of the charities sector, the donor public and other interested stakeholders.”

The consultation paper includes proposals and consultation questions on the establishment of a Charities Regulatory Authority and a statutory Register of Charities. It also includes proposals and consultation questions on the types of financial and activity reports that registered charities will berequired to provide to the Charities Regulatory Authority once it is established.

To read the consultation paper and to submit a response, go to The deadline for responses is 20 March 2013. During the consultation period, the Department of Justice and Equality plans to convene a stakeholder meeting on the proposals. Further information on arrangements for this meeting will be available in the coming weeks. It is envisaged that the responses to the consultation will be published in due course.


Sports Capital Programme

In late December, Minister Michael Ring, announced details of €5 million worth of national and regional projects which will receive funding under the Sports Capital Programme. This funding was additional to the €26 million in grants for 615 local projects announced earlier in the month. Full details of the projects supported by this latest round of capital funding can be viewed at the end of the page.


Parliamentary Questions

Most of the parliamentary questions on sport in January centred on the allocation of the sports capital grants. On the 22nd January, however, Minister Varadkar outlined details of the Irish aspects of the EU EuroVelo project designed to develop cycle tourism across the EU.

Minister Vardakar confirmed that Ireland had been asked as part of the EuroVelo project to identify long distance routes that could contribute to cycling tourism in Europe. There was no commitment however to deliver the routes. Two such routes were identified in Ireland being the Atlantic Coast Route and the Capitals Route.

The Minister said that there was no plan to deliver either route in its entirety. However, funding had been allocated for an on-road route between Donegal & Netwoncunningham being part of the Atlantic Coastal Route whilst, the Great Western Greenway in May also had a very significant coastal element to it.

He also confirmed in relation to the Dublin-Galway route that recent funding initiatives have delivered sections of this route particularly along the canal. Minister Varadkar confirmed that the National Roads Aauthority is now undertaking detailed route alignment and design work for the route with a view to delivering the route as a cycling corridor in sections as funding allows.

Cycling is a significant driver of sports tourism in Ireland. A recently published report by Fáilte Ireland indicated that 178,000 international tourists took part in cycling during their stay in Ireland in 2011, while 6% of domestic holiday makers took part in cycling activities. Further information on the Fáilte Ireland report can be found through the link below:




Applicant Name


Allocation Purpose

Cavan Cavan Institute


New synthetic football pitch
Cork Cork Camogie Board


Clubhouse with dressing rooms, indoor sports hall and first aid room
Cork Cork Constitution RFC


Upgrade of existing dressing rooms including new physiotherapy room and gym fit-out
Cork Irish Coastal Rowing Federation


Coastal rowing boats  and oars
Donegal Donegal GAA County Board


Dressing rooms complex for Donegal GAA training centre
Dublin Angling Council of Ireland


Sports equipment including equipment to improve access to the sport for disabled anglers
Dublin Ballymun Regeneration Ltd – Poppintree Park


New changing room complex for a variety of sports
Dublin Canoeing Ireland


Development of Ireland first permanent canoe/kayak slalom course and sports equipment for same
Dublin Clontarf RFC


Natural grass pitch, upgraded floodlighting, refurbishment of dressing rooms and gym equipment
Dublin Dublin City Council – Irishtown Stadium


Resurfacing of synthetic running track
Dublin Dublin Institute of Technology


New synthetic football pitch
Dublin Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council – Shankill Lawn Tennis Club


A Regional Tennis Centre with three indoor courts built to international standards
Dublin FAI AUL


Renovation of synthetic pitch
Dublin FAI Leinster Football League


Dressing rooms and equipment
Dublin Fingal County Council – O’Dwyers GAA and Balbriggan FC


Synthetic  football pitch suitable for soccer and Gaelic games
Dublin Irish Fencing Federation


Sports equipment for running competitions and spreading the sport to schools
Dublin Irish Wheelchair Association


Refurbishment of sports hall and powerlifting equipment
Dublin National Deaf Sports and Leisure Centre Ltd


Equipment for fitness gym
Dublin Pentathlon Ireland


Sports equipment
Dublin Tennis Ireland


Resurfacing of four indoor tennis courts
Galway Connacht Branch Irish Rugby Football Union


New changing facilities at Sportsgrounds
Galway Galway and District League


Dressing rooms and medical / physiotherapy rooms
Galway Mervue United FC


Extension to and resurfacing of synthetic playing pitch
Kilkenny Kilkenny GAA County Board


Dressing rooms complex for Kilkenny GAA training centre
Leitrim Leitrim County Council


Equipment to establish regional rowing centre
Limerick Young Munster RFC


Match quality floodlights, refurbishment of dressing rooms, security fencing and ball stop netting
Louth Drogheda Borough Council


Outdoor bowling green and wheelchairs for athletics track
Mayo Mayo GAA County Board


Improvements to 2 natural grass pitches, floodlighting on 1 pitch and security fencing
Mayo Mayo League Community Stadium Club Ltd


Resurfacing of synthetic pitch
Meath Meath and District Soccer


New synthetic pitch
Sligo Sligo Rovers


Natural grass pitch and competition standard synthetic pitch
Tipperary Nenagh Town Council


Extension to gym facilities including aerobics studio and changing rooms, outdoor fitness trail with gym equipment and skateboard park
Wexford Irish Wheelchair Association – Wexford


Equipment for Boccia (a form of bowls), archery and kurling (non-ice version of curling)