The new look Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland was launched yesterday at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus by Minister of State Brendan Griffin in front of a strong turnout of sports administrators.

The new body replaces Just Sport Ireland which was set up in 2007 by the Federation of Irish Sport as a not for profit dispute resolution body for sport in Ireland.

Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland (SDSI) will operate in a similar manner under the Federation of Irish Sport

“The new body provides a range of service which offers the most effective and cost-efficient way of dealing with disputes in Irish sport once they have gone beyond the individual sporting bodies,” said Minister Griffin.

“It helps avoid sporting disputes appearing in the High Court which inevitably results in the loss of funds that otherwise would be used in the development of sport both at local and national level.”

“The new name provides greater clarity as to the services offered and what SDSI actually does,” added Federation of Irish Sport CEO Mary O’Connor.

“This is the first step in a campaign to ensure that everyone in sport in Ireland became more aware of exactly what is available in the event of a dispute escalating.”

“It is also our intention to have all NGB’s to build SDSI into their individual constitutions to ensure provision for the referral of disputes to SDSI should the need arise.”

“Like the Minister, the Federation is of the firm belief that sport is best kept out of the High Court. Not alone is SDSI more cost effective but it is a confidential service which helps to protect sport from unnecessary negative publicity and reputational damage.”

The Chairperson of the SDSI Board is Declan McPhillips who explained the need for the re-brand and strategic review, “As part of this Review the Board identified a concern as to a lack of awareness of the existence of JSI and perhaps a lack of understanding of the value of the process.”

“Sport Ireland fully supports and recommends the adoption of Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland, a service that is hugely valued by National Governing Bodies for Sport and sports organisations nationwide,” concluded Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy.

“While no one wants to see disputes arise, this service provided by the Federation of Irish Sport means that they have been settled in a timely and cost-effective manner, rather than entering into drawn out and costly litigation.”

“Having an alternative form of dispute resolution of funding is a requirement for the receipt of funding from Sport Ireland and we are pleased that the vast majority of funded bodies have signed up to Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland.”