Minister of State for Tourism & Sport, Michael Ring TD, has today published the Sport Ireland Bill 2014 following approval by the Government.
The purpose of the Bill is to provide for the establishment of a new statutory sports body, Sport Ireland, which merges the two existing sports bodies - the Irish Sports Council and the National Sports Campus Development Authority.
The merger of the two bodies is part of the Government's programme for the rationalisation of State agencies.
Minister Michael Ring TD said: "This Bill brings responsibility for the implementation of Irish sports policy under a single agency, Sport Ireland. The new agency will take over responsibility for the relevant functions currently performed by the Council and the Authority.
"Sport Ireland will continue the work currently being done by the Council in promoting, developing and co-ordinating sport in Ireland and also the work of the Authority in developing the National Sports Campus at Blanchardstown. I hope to have the Bill enacted during the next Dáil term and to establish Sport Ireland as early as possible."
The Sport Ireland Bill combines the main provisions of the Irish Sports Council Act, 1999 and the National Sports Campus Development Authority Act 2006.
It also includes new provisions relating to doping in sport, which ensure the statutory underpinning of the national Anti-Doping Programme and the Irish Anti-Doping Rules.
Minister Ring added: "Anti-doping is a key area of work in sport aimed at ensuring that all athletes are competing on an equal footing. The Bill includes new provisions which will help Sport Ireland in its work in combating doping in sport, and in continuing the work done by the Irish Sports Council in this area.
"The Bill provides a statutory basis for Ireland's Anti-Doping Programme and the Irish Anti-Doping Rules. It also provides for sharing of information between Sport Ireland and relevant organisations, including the Irish Medicines Board, the Gardaí and Customs, which is an essential element in the fight against doping in sport."
It was a case of 'job well done' for the Ireland Women's Sevens team after they topped their pool on the opening day of the Olympic Repechage at UCD. Anthony Eddy's side defeated Trinidad & Tobago (51-0), Portugal (24-12) and China (12-0).
We did everything but score says Andrfew Trimble of the third and final test match in South Africa. The Ireland wing was disappointed with the result but felt that Ireland showed character throughout the tour.
Tournament Director Garrett Tubridy sets the scene for an exciting weekend of rugby at UCD where 16 Women's Sevens teams will battle it out at for one qualifying spot for the Rio Olympics. Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.ie/sevens.
Tadhg Furlong reflects on a disappointing day for Ireland against South Africa. However, he will take positives from his first Test start and be ready to build for the final match of the series in Port Elizabeth.
Paddy Jackson is preparing for Ireland's second Test against South Africa on Saturday (kick-off 5pm local time/4pm Irish time). The Ulster out-half has been checking out Ellis Park in advance of the match.
Nicole Cronin, the inaugural Irish Women's Sevens Player of the Year in 2014, is looking to make an impact on her return to the green jersey at this weekend's Rugby Europe Women's Sevens Grand Prix Series in Kazan, Russia.
The Ireland Women's 15-a-side captain Niamh Briggs was part of the Irish Development team that won the Amsterdam 7s title recently. Next up is the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in Kazan, Russia this weekend and then a shot at Olympic Sevens qualification at UCD on June 25-26.
Experienced prop Andrew Porter speaks about the Ireland Under-20s' preparations for the World Rugby U-20 Championship and their opening pool encounter with Wales in Manchester later today (kick-off 5.30pm, live on TG4/Sky Sports 1).