The Olympic Federation of Ireland has welcomed the Government’s announcement that it will increase current funding for Sport Ireland by €6.5m in 2019. The news has also been cautiously welcomed by Irish Sailing's High-Performance Director James O'Callaghan.
Through its National Sports Policy 2019-2017, the Government has committed to doubling funding for sport over the next ten years from €111m to €220m annually, and within that, to a trebling of investment to support elite athletes and their programmes from €11m to €30m per annum over the period.
The details released this week come on the back of €1.5m for High-Performance sport announced by Government earlier this year and will help to provide support for Irish Olympic athletes and their programmes as they prepare for Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
Speaking after the details of the funding increase was announced today, Olympic Federation of Ireland President, Sarah Keane said, “There is a clear correlation between funding for High-Performance Sport and success on the international stage so this additional current funding provided for Sport Ireland is very welcome. The National Sports Policy launched earlier this year provides a solid framework for future success. Today’s announcement demonstrates that the Government is committed to make good on its policy commitments by implementing the first of the increases required over the next ten years. Ireland’s Olympic athletes work incredibly hard to succeed internationally and deserve our support so that they can fulfil their potential.
“The results achieved by our Olympic Sports this summer, and the continuing good performances of our young athletes at the Youth Olympic Games, demonstrate that we can start to deliver consistently with the correct funding and structures in place. This funding announcement is vitally important to address the lost ground caused by the crash of 2008 and to narrow the gap against the support provided in many of the nations which we compete against internationally
“The strong partnerships that now exist between the Olympic Federation of Ireland, Sport Ireland, the NGBs, the athletes and the Sport Ireland Institute means that the system is well set up to capitalise on this investment in the years to come.
“I want to thank Minister Shane Ross and Minister Brendan Griffin for their work through this budget to deliver on the policy’s funding commitments and Minister Paschal Donohoe and An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for their support.
“We look forward to working closely with Government, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and Sport Ireland on implementation, and to the many benefits that this investment will deliver.”
James O'Callaghan said: "Broadly has to be seen as positive but we need to see the details to see what it actually means for us [Sailing]"