Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohue has announced a commitment of €126 million to support a range of sporting initiatives in 2019.

This represents an increase of just over €14.69 million on the total investment in sport this year.

The increased investment marks a first significant step towards realising the commitment contained in Ireland’s first National Sports Policy, published in July, to double the investment in sport.

The breakdown of the overall investment will be confirmed by the Minister for Sport, Shane Ross at a briefing on Wednesday. It has been confirmed however that €41million will be invested in sports projects to benefit clubs and organisations in every county in Ireland.

Minister Donohoe also confirmed that the 9% VAT rate for sporting facilities is to be retained.

Speaking after the announcement of today’s Budget 2018, CEO, Federation of Irish Sport, Mary O’Connor said:

“Budget 2019 certainly seems like it is a positive one for sport. While we look forward to hearing the detail regarding the breakdown of the increased investment across people and programmes and capital projects, our initial reaction and that of our members is positive. The publication of Ireland’s National Sports Policy in July this year was a significant first step in recognition of the important contribution sport can and should make to Ireland.”

“It is great to see Government begin to commit the necessary funds to allow for the implementation of that plan in the first budget following the publication of that landmark Policy for Irish sport.”