The Federation of Irish Sport appeared before the Joint Committee on Transport & Communications on 25th April in relation to the proposed ban of alcohol sponsorship and sport. The Federation took the opportunity to outline that in the current climate where funding for sport is in such short supply now is not the time to be introducing a blanket ban on any category of sponsorship.

The Federation outlined its view that there would be a better way in which, sport could look to assist in addressing the challenges associated with alcohol misuse. In particular, through the roll out in conjunction and with the help of the HSE, education and awareness programmes such as the Alcohol & Substance Abuse Programme (“ASAP”) and the “Health Clubs” initiative currently being delivered by the GAA.

The Federation took the opportunity to remind the Deputies and Senators present of the significant reduction in government funding for sport over the last number of years in particular, the 25% decrease in the Irish Sports Council’s budget. The Federation also highlighted the significant disadvantage sport is at when compared to other areas of the not for profit sector in attracting philanthropic investment given that sport does not benefit from charitable status.

The Committee meeting at which, Horse Racing Ireland and the Drinks Industry Group Ireland were also present is the final in a series of three meetings held by the Committee in relation to the issue of sponsorship of major sporting events. The Committee will now prepare a report outlining their recommendations to the Minister. It is anticipated that the issue will come before Cabinet in the next couple of weeks.

A copy of the Federation’s submission to the Joint Committee can be viewed here. Transcripts of the three Committee Hearings on the issue including the one at which the Federation was present can be found here