• Opportunity to maximise potential of sport for benefit of Ireland given the wide and varied contribution made by sport in 2013
  • Sport supports 40,000 Irish Jobs with the global value of sport estimated at between $350 – $450 billion each year
  • Calls for creation of cross-departmental strategy on sport or Master Plan for Sport which Minister for Sport has indicated will commence in 2014
  • Need for diversity in funding streams for sport such as extending existing tax concessions for donations to sporting bodies in line with recommendations of 2009 Commission on Taxation
  • Outlines key contribution by each of Ireland’s National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships in 2013
  • Includes thoughts of a selection of Irish business leaders, journalists, politicians and sporting personalities on the importance of sport to Ireland

The Federation of Irish Sport, as part of its 2013 Review of Irish Sport, has sought to highlight the wide and varied contribution sport makes to Ireland. The Review details some of the key achievements of Ireland’s National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships in 2013.

Irish Sport in numbers

This year’s Review is the 5th such report since the publication of the first “Why Irish Sport Matters” document in October 2009 and looks to chart the progress made in terms of sports policy in the intervening years. In this regard, the Federation welcomes the Ministers’ Vardakar and Ring’s recent announcement that they will commence work on an overall Sports Policy in 2014.

The Federation first touted the concept of a Master Plan for sport that would harness sport’s role in business, tourism, public health, social inclusion, education as well as its role in building Ireland’s reputation in 2012. The reason being that it is only with such a strategic approach to sport, and investment in sport, that the true potential of sport to deliver on other socio-economic objectives for Ireland can be realised.

Irish Sport continued to deliver for Ireland in 2013. Participation levels continue to increase whilst there was significant success on the international stage. 67 Irish athletes featured on the podium at major international events including Rob Heffernan’s gold medal, 15 World Championship Paralympic Medals, European Gold for sailor Annalise Murphy and a first Grand Slam for Ireland’s Women’s Rugby Team.

The Review states that this continued success at all levels of the sporting pyramid cannot be taken for granted and warns that without continued investment (both public and private) much of this progress could be undone. It is in this vein, that the Federation has used the Review to renew its call for a tax concession on donations to sporting bodies for current in addition to capital projects is introduced – as recommended by the Commission on Taxation in 2009.

Norah quoteThe Review this year also includes quotes from a number of Ireland’s political, business, media  and sporting leaders on their view of the importance of sport to Ireland and how they think sport can play in the creation of a better Ireland. Quotes from An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, journalist Vincent Browne, Paddy Power CEO, Patrick Kennedy, Harmonia Chairperson, Norah Casey and European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley all outline a view that sport has and should have a role in the creation of a better Ireland.

Federation of Irish Sport CEO, Sarah O’Connor, said on publishing the Review:

“We are very proud of the achievements that our members, their clubs and volunteers have made to improve Irish Society in 2013, reaching every community in Ireland. Much of the off-field contribution of this work is seen for example in; bed nights, the purchasing of sports equipment and the benefits to participants of all ages of physical activity. Our members feel that a change of mind-set is required so that sport is no longer seen for just the sport itself but for all the ancillary benefits it delivers. The Federation believes that a strategic approach to sport should be adopted to ensure that all these potential benefits are harnessed and maximum benefit is derived from all public monies invested in sport. It is for this reason that we are looking for the Government to adopt a Master Plan for Sport. Singapore has already taken this step with the Government there embracing “Vision 2030: Living Better Through Sport”.  We believe that in Ireland, with the right support Irish Sport can do much more.”

A copy of the 2013 Annual Review is available here:


Why Irish Sport Matters Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPslQvsieXQ

For further information, please contact:

Sarah O’Connor, CEO, Federation of Irish Sport 01-6251155