‘With the right support, there is nothing we cannot achieve together’

Dear Member,

We hope that you are well and safe as we conclude another week of national COVID-19 mitigation and are learning to adapt to this new environment.

Throughout the last two weeks we have continued to work with representatives at government level and key stakeholders in Irish Sport to ensure the voice of Irish Sport is heard. The Federation have strongly advocated for specific support measures for sport clubs similar to the measures announced in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early April, we have also called for the establishment of an expert working group for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation during this crisis as well as provision of a government led funding injection package for NGB’s to stimulate activity post the COVID-19 emergency.

This work has included engaging with you, our Federation members on matters of insurance, government support and, crucially, an insight into the position of your many clubs up and down the country. This work has provided us with a stark picture of how COVID-19 is impacting the national grassroots landscape and has formed a large part of our discussions with Minister Brendan Griffin. I have written to Minister Griffin to again highlight our concerns on behalf of our members and to re-emphasise our asks for the sport, physical activity and recreation sector. The main asks from the letter can be read at https://www.irishsport.ie/federation-asks-for-sport-and-physical-activity-to-minister-brendan-griffin/

The Federation of Irish Sport also welcomes correspondence from Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy on the return to sport protocols as this is a topic we emphasised at our most recent government meeting under the framework of protect, prepare and prevail and I would encourage all members to provide feedback. Regarding the announcement by government on Tuesday April 21st on Mass Gatherings of 5000 people it is important to note that there was no consultation with the sport sector and we are seeking clarity on this announcement on our members behalf.

On Tuesday this week a position paper on the impact of the COVID-19 on the sport sector was published by EOC EU Office asking the EU to support sport organisations and I would encourage our members to read it. It again highlights and reinforces what the Federation has been advocating for since the emergence of this crisis.

As you will now be aware, this newsletter contains up to date government information and supports as well as initiatives and information from our partners who are working on innovative solutions to COVID-19 challenges.

Throughout this crises and beyond, myself and the Federation team are on hand to assist you, our members. If any of you have specific questions, please contact us on any of the numbers below. Please also keep an eye on our COVID-19 updates page at www.irishsport.ie which will be updated regularly with any relevant information.

Mary O’Connor, CEO – 0860437884
Sinead Conroy, Business Manager – 0860437887

Finally, I would ask you to continue to adhere to government guidelines and advice in relation to tackling this pandemic.

Stay safe, stay well.

Yours sincerely,

Mary O’Connor
CEO Federation of Irish Sport.


Information & Resources  


EOC EU Office Paper on Sport
The EOC EU Office in collaboration with sport stakeholders of the SHARE Initiative of the European Commission have produced a “Position paper on the impact of COVID-19 crisis on the sport sector”. The document has been sent to the main EU actors, including, for instance, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Commissioners Mariya Gabriel (responsible for sport) and Elisa Ferreira (Cohesion and Reforms), European Parliament President David Sassoli, and Croatian EU Presidency to raise awareness of sport organisations’ needs in the coronavirus crisis.

The joint position paper urges the European entities to ensure that sport organisations are fully eligible for support under relevant EU funding schemes directed to overcome the crisis. Furthermore, the paper presents an “action plan for the promotion of sport for a more resilient and sustainable Europe”, proposing more support measures that would directly benefit the sport sector.
Read the full paper and its recommendations here https://www.irishsport.ie/eoc-eu-paper-on-sport/

Department of the Taoiseach
The government has issued guidance on large scale licensed events which will have a direct impact on sport. We have requested clarity on this matter from our members, however, the current statement and more information can be found at  https://www.gov.ie/en/news/3afa7d-government-statement-on-licensed-events/

Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation
The department have made multiple announcements and additions which are summarized below. All information on business supports from the department can be found at https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/

  • The Credit Guarantee Scheme supports loans up to €1 million for periods of up to 7 years.
  • Microenterprises can access COVID-19 Business Loans of up to €50,000 from Microfinance Ireland. The terms include a six months interest free and repayment free moratorium, with the loan to then be repaid over the remaining 30 months of the 36-month loan period. Loans are available at an interest rate of between 4.5% and 5.5%. Businesses can apply through their Local Enterprise Office or directly at microfinanceireland.ie.
  • The new €450m SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme for eligible businesses supports loans from €25,000 up to €1.5 million (first €500,000 unsecured) with a maximum interest rate of 4%. Applications can be made through the SBCI website at sbci.gov.ie

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have a range of measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).https://www.gov.ie/en/news/041fd1-update-on-payments-awarded-for-covid-19-pandemic-unemployment-paymen/

Department of Finance
Minister Donohoe publishes Stability Programme Update 2020 – Published: 21 April 2020


The information contained in this email is the most relevant information available at the point of issue but given the fast moving nature of this global crisis we advise to always check for further updates within the relevant departments and sources.