Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Patrick O’Donovan TD today (Wednesday, 13th July) announced an investment package of €7.4 million from Sport Ireland to support grass roots development in rugby, football and Gaelic games.

The announcement follows the €19.1m investment in National Governing Bodies of Sport, €1.8m in direct athlete investment and €5.4m to support the national network of Local Sports Partnerships.

Announcing the package, Minister O’Donovan said: “I’m delighted to announce this significant investment in sport for young people. It is important that opportunities exist for young people to participate and today’s investment will support the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU in continuing their extensive participation programmes aimed at encouraging and creating more opportunities for young people to participate in field sports. This investment represents a significant contribution to our communities and to the health and well-being of our young people.”

Today’s announcement will see €2.4 million invested in the GAA, €2.7 million in the FAI and €2.36 million in the IRFU, which will support coach development, club support, under-age programmes, volunteer support programmes, community schemes, referee development and targeting at-risk communities.

Kieran Mulvey, Chairperson of Sport Ireland explained: “We are delighted to announce this investment today. This investment supports Sport Ireland’s strategic aim of increasing participation in sport throughout Ireland. These field sports are based on a shared ethos of developing the grass roots of the games, growing participation numbers and targeting communities outside of the traditional base of the sport.”

Speaking at the announcement at the National Sports Campus, CEO of Sport Ireland John Treacy highlighted the importance of this investment: “Sport Ireland shares a common goal with the GAA, IRFU and FAI to increase participation in sport and physical activity. Today’s investment highlights Sport Ireland’s strategic aim of increasing participation from every age group and from all social backgrounds throughout Ireland, removing barriers that prevent participation in sport.”