Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan TD, made the announcement today as part of an overall investment package of 7.4 million euro from Sport Ireland to support grassroots development in Rugby, Football and Gaelic Games.
The announcement follows the €;19.1m investment in National Governing Bodies, €;1.8m in direct athlete investment and €;5.4m to support the National Network of Local Sports Partnerships.
The IRFU allocates three euro for every euro of Government investment in rugby.
Announcing the package, Minister Patrick O’Donovan said: “I’m delighted to announce this significant investment in sport for young people. It is important that opportunities exist for young people to participate in sport and today’s investment will support the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU in continuing their extensive participation programmes aimed at encouraging and creating more opportunities for young people to participate in field sports.
“This investment represents a significant contribution to our communities and to the health and well-being of our young people.”
Today’s announcement will see 2.4 million euro invested in the GAA, 2.7 million euro in the FAI and 2.36 million euro in the IRFU which will support coach development, club support, underage programmes, volunteer support programmes, community schemes, referee development and targeting at-risk communities.
Senior representatives of the FAI, GAA and IRFU were in attendance at the announcement, with Philip Browne, Chief Executive of the IRFU, adding: “The IRFU’s and Sport Ireland’s total investment into the club and community game has grown in recent years to over 10 million euro, with the IRFU allocating three euros for every euro of government funding.
“Sport Ireland continues to support the IRFU in achieving its strategic objectives and contributing to national health and sporting agendas. The past few seasons have been good on the field and off it, and our investment in the game has mirrored that.
“However, a constant, for which we are very grateful, is the support of Sport Ireland, through the core grant and the Women’s in Sport Award.”
Kieran Mulvey, Chairperson of Sport Ireland, explained: “We are delighted to announce this investment today. This investment supports Sport Ireland’s strategic aim of increasing participation in sport throughout Ireland. These field sports are based on a shared ethos of developing the grass roots of the games, growing participation numbers and targeting communities outside of the traditional base of the sport.”
Speaking at the announcement at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus, John Treacy, CEO of Sport Ireland, highlighted the importance of this investment, saying: “Sport Ireland shares a common goal with the GAA, IRFU and FAI to increase participation in sport and physical activity.
“Today’s investment highlights Sport Ireland’s strategic aim of increasing participation from every age group and from all social backgrounds throughout Ireland, removing barriers that prevent participation in sport.”