An investment package of €33 million for Irish sport in 2013 by the Irish Sports Council was announced by Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring on 21st March. This money includes €19.3 million for National Governing Bodies of sport, €5.1 million for Local Sports Partnerships and €8.6 million for high performance sport.
Speaking at the launch Minister Ring said: “The Government has ensured that sport continues to receive significant financial support, and we protected funding for the Sports Council in this year’s Budget. The Sports Council’s new investment plan highlights the huge range of organisations that will get essential support this year. I know the Sports Council has made every effort to protect funding for organisations that need it most. Above all, everyone appreciates that the sports community spends this money well, and generates a good return for our communities, our society and our national spirit.”
The total for NGBs includes €10.8 million for the core activities of 59 sports, €7.6 million to support the participation programmes of the GAA, FAI and IRFU and €840,000 in dedicated Women in Sport activities across the NGB sector.
The national network of 31 Local Sports Partnerships will receive €5.1 million in investment to support their work in promoting participating in sport and physical activity especially in hard to reach groups. The Sports Partnerships offer a range of programmes including the Sports Inclusion Disability Officers.
Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of the Irish Sports Council said that “I want to pay tribute to the sports bodies who deliver such a variety of excellent opportunities in sport. The Council appreciates very much the support given to us by Minister Ring and his Department which allows us to continue our mission to improve the standards in high performance sport and to increase participation rates in sport. “.
86 athletes will receive individual grants totalling €1.7 million under the International Carding Scheme. 16 sports bodies will receive €5.5 million to support their Performance Plans in 2013 and the Olympic Council of Ireland (€412,000) and Paralympics Ireland (€910,000) funding allocations were also announced. One notable new programme is support of €275,000 to the IRFU to support their efforts to qualify a women’s team for the 7’s tournament in Rio 2016.
John Treacy, CEO of the Council said: “We have begun to implement the recommendations of the Carding Review and the London Debrief immediately. While there is still a substantial investment in the International Carding Scheme there is a move towards greater support to the Performance Plans of the NGBs”.
The Irish Sports Council will receive €43.153 million in grant aid from the Government in 2013. Today’s package of €33 million represents a large part of the Council’s investment in sport. This is the first year that Coaching Ireland, based at the University of Limerick, will operate as an integral part of the Council. Other important activities include the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Programme, the Institute of Sport and the National Trails Office. Other grant programmes include the Team Ireland Golf Trust, Sport for Older People and the Gaelic Players Association.