Government Announcement €70m Support For Sports

The Government have announced a €70m support package for Irish sports bodies and clubs to assist with the impact of covid-19.

The announcement was made this evening by Minister for Sport Shane Ross and Junior minister Padraig Griffin with funding for National Governing Bodies of Sport, Local Sports Partnerships and sports clubs.

€40 million will be made available to the FAI, GAA and IRFU with €10 million to the other national sports bodies.

The primary purpose of the funding announced today is to protect the national sports system in Ireland, which has been developed over the past two decades.

The physical and organisational infrastructure is at risk from COVID-19 and it is recognised that the cost of rebuilding would be significantly higher.

The secondary purpose of the funding is to invest in sports and programmes that will play a major part in the long-term public health response to the crisis.

The funding is made up of four separate allocations:

  • Funding of up to €40 for the three main field sports organisations – the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU,
  • A Resilience Fund of up to €10 million to support the National Governing Bodies of Sport,
  • A Sports Club Resilience Fund of up to €15 million to support clubs, and
  • A Sports Restart and Renewal Fund of up to €5 million.

The new finance will be invested through new grant schemes, which will be designed by Sport Ireland in consultation with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

With regard to the resilience funds announced, National Governing Bodies on their own behalf and on behalf of clubs and affiliates must, in the first instance, be able to verify the costs associated with Covid-19.

The crisis has affected some sport more than others and, ultimately, that will be reflected in the investment awards.

“The announcement today by Ministers Ross and Griffin is most welcomed by everyone in sport. The Board of Sport Ireland has received regular updates on how the necessary Covid-19 restrictions have affected sport at all levels said Chairman of Sport Ireland, Kieran Mulvey.

“When restrictions were put in place in March, Sport Ireland identified three key areas of focus, which were – making sure sport was represented on the Government’s roadmap; creating an environment where high performance athletes could return to training as quickly as possible; and, establishing a financial support for Sport Ireland funded bodies.

Sport Ireland worked closely with Ministers Ross and Griffin and colleagues in in the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to ensure that all three were delivered.

Sport Ireland has already facilitated a return to training for a number of our high performance athletes and has extended funding arrangements for carded athletes to support them through the postponed Olympic and Paralympic schedule.

I thank both Minister Ross and Minister Griffin for their ongoing support in ensuring the ongoing viability of sport in Ireland.”

Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, outlined how the funding process will work: “Following engagement with Sport Ireland, we will invite applications from funded bodies, which will require them to demonstrate and verify what is required for them to continue in terms of funding.”

“These applications will be processed by Sport Ireland in-line with our robust grant processing procedures and high standards of due diligence.”

“It is important to highlight that only those organisations in absolute need will be assisted. It is acknowledged that there may be a need to support previously commercial activities to get them back up and running again as the absence of these may put a strain on an organisation’s viability and its wider participation objectives”.

”We thank Ministers Ross and Griffin and look forward to working with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the National Governing Bodies to get sport back on track.”