Sport Ireland to invest €24m in High Performance Sport in 2023

01 Mar 2023
Sarah Stanley
  • Additional investment of €4m bringing the total investment to €24m in 2023 
  • Multi-annual funding packages for athletes and High Performance Programme up to Paris 2024.  


Building on the highest ever recorded medal achievements in 2022, Sport Ireland has today announced a multi-annual funding package, which sees historic levels of investment in high performance sport. The investment commitments of the National Sports Policy 2018-2027 continue to be delivered for high performance sport.

Under its multi-annual funding commitment for 2022 to 2024, €10.8m in High Performance Programme Funding will be provided to 19 National Governing Bodies to support the delivery of their performance programmes in 2023. A further €950,000 has been allocated to the Olympic Federation of Ireland (€500,000) and Paralympics Ireland (€450,000) for operations and administration support.

Multi-annual funding is extended to the International Carding Scheme which provides financial support to athletes for their training and competition programmes. Athletes that have achieved criteria for funding in 2022 will be on the International Carding Scheme for 2023 and 2024. This will allow athletes to focus on training and performances as they seek qualification for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris 2024. In 2023, Sport Ireland will invest €3,486,500 under the International Carding Scheme. This will support 127 athletes and three relays / pool funding in 14 sports.   

The additional €4m of investment provided by Government for 2023 will be directed to specific initiatives within high performance sport. Sport Ireland will be prudent in its expenditure of this additional funding throughout 2023. Coaching, Paris 2024, athlete supports, and High Performance Strategy activation are priority investment areas for Sport Ireland. In 2022, Sport Ireland allocated €1.9m in High Performance Impact Funding, and this funding stream will be again available in 2023. It will address one-off costs for high performance programmes and give recognition to the increased costs of doing business in high performance sport.

The levels of investment for 2023 are substantial and see Sport Ireland tracking to invest over €67m in high performance sport between 2022 and 2024.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD said: “Today’s High Performance funding announcement is a very welcome announcement after a highly successful year for Irish athletes on the high-performance stage in 2022, in various sporting codes. Through this funding we can continue to support and champion our athletes with their sporting journeys in European and World Championships, while also assisting them with achieving qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The National Sports Policy 2021 – 2032 aims to provide continuous support to our High-Performance Program through increased levels of funding and after last year’s successes, I believe we will continue to build on this in the near future.”

Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education Thomas Byrne TD welcomed today’s announcement: Our athletes inspire the nation, through their individual and collective achievements. It is important to ensure that they are provided with the best opportunity to succeed. This strategic approach to multi-annual funding ensures that Team Ireland is well placed heading into Paris 2024. It enables our athletes to concentrate on their sports with a degree of stability and certainty, without having to contend with the extra pressure of future financial uncertainty. This was a key commitment set out in the National Sports Policy 2018-2027 and its delivery is already showing results given the record 100 major medals that were won by Irish athletes and teams in 2022. Our investment is clearly paying dividends, our athletes are delivering.”

Chief Executive of Sport Ireland Dr Úna May commented: “Sport Ireland’s High-Performance Strategy sets high ambitions for Ireland’s performance at international competitions. In order for these objectives to be achieved, athletes and organisations require consistent support. Sport Ireland will invest over €40m in total in High Performance Programme Funding throughout the Paris Cycle (2021-2024). This is an increase from €31m in the Tokyo Cycle (2017-2020). Through the delivery of a multi-year funding package, Sport Ireland is supporting athletes to focus fully on their training and preparation.”


Additional Notes:

Player Funding Scheme

The Sport Ireland High Performance Strategy 2021-2032 identifies that “Sport Ireland will develop a clear policy on how team sports will be supported in terms of direct athlete investment, athlete support services and National Governing Body input”. The primary objective of funding players within team sports is to enhance their collective ability to compete on a global stage and give recognition of previous performance successes.

Sport Ireland is pleased to announce the introduction of the Player Funding Scheme for Women’s Senior Hockey from 2022 to 2024. In quarter three of 2022, the programme was established, and Sport Ireland invested €150,000. In 2023 and 2024, Sport Ireland will invest €300,000 per annum to Hockey Ireland to support the Women’s Team. This funding will directly support players in their training and competition plans as they target qualification for Paris 2024.  


Head of High Performance Coaching

Sport Ireland is also pleased to announce the appointment of Ciarán Ward as Head of High Performance Coaching.  Ciaran is an International Judo Federation Master Coach, and a 1992 and 1996 Irish Olympian. Ciaran was Performance Director for Irish Judo since 2020, and prior to this, Performance Lead for Judo Northern Ireland (2016-2023).  

Ciaran’s role will be focused on activating initiatives within High Performance Programmes which lead to the improved recruitment and retention of talented coaches; appropriate learning and training supports; along with elevating the importance of coaching positions within NGBs.

Ciaran commenced in the role on February 1.