Sport Ireland Welcomes Funding Increase for Irish Sport

Sport Ireland has welcomed the significant increase in funding for sport announced in Budget 2019.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport has announced a €6.5 million increase in current funding for Sport Ireland in 2019.

Commenting on today’s budget announcement, Sport Ireland Chairman, Kieran Mulvey, said: “The outcome of today’s announcement is a positive one for Irish sport. On behalf of Sport Ireland, I would like to thank the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, and their department officials their work in advocating the need for increased and sustained investment in sport in Ireland. The National Sports Policy published by the Government sets out ambitious objectives across the board; the allocations in today’s budget demonstrates clear evidence of the Government’s commitment to the plan and to sport as a whole."

Mr Mulvey continued: "The Government has responded very positively to case made by Sport Ireland and the Irish sporting community with a broad commitment to sport and physical activity in Budget 2019. In particular, we welcome this increase in current funding which will allow us to continue to support our National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships. Their valuable work in providing opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to get involved in sport cannot be underestimated and this funding will allow us to help those organisations increase their capacity and output to ensure more people are provided opportunities to engage in sport at a level of their choosing.”

The additional funding for sport will support the delivery of the new National Sports Policy, which was published earlier this year.

Speaking after today’s announcement, Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, said: “The Ministers have shown their financial commitment to the implementation of the new National Sports Policy. The additional funding that they have secured for sport will enable Sport Ireland to push out our various initiative from participation to high performance and continue to develop the infrastructure on the Sport Ireland National Sport Campus.”

The additional funding announced in today’s budget is also positive news for the Irish High Performance System, as Ireland’s top athletes continue their qualification process and preparations for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Commenting on the impact of this funding on Ireland’s Olympic and Paralympic aspirations, Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, added: “The new policy earmarks the need for additional investment in high performance sport if we are to realise our potential in the international arena. The funding confirmed today, coupled with the high performance funding injection received earlier this year, will be an important component in preparing our athletes for Tokyo 2020 and other key international events.”

The second phase of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena is continuing at an accelerated pace and is expected to be completed in the early part of 2019. This development, which will contain indoor training pitches and ancillary facilities, will become a key part of Ireland’s sporting infrastructure, along with the National Velodrome and Badminton Centre. Planning for the Velodrome and Badminton Centre will get underway in 2019, which construction commencing in 2020.

On the capital funding, Mr Mulvey added: “The continued development of the Sport Ireland National Sport Campus is a top priority for the organisation. The funding of €16 million announced today for the completion of Phase Two of the National Indoor Arena is welcome. With the Minister having already committed to the commencement of the new National Velodrome and Badminton Centre by 2020, the Campus is augmenting its position as the home of sport here in Ireland.”

Individual allocations to National Governing Bodies of Sport, Locals Sports Partnerships and individual athletes through the International Athletes Carding Scheme will be considered by the Board of Sport Ireland and announced in early 2019.