The FAI is set to benefit as Sport Ireland have welcomed new funding announced ministers Ross and Griffin will see €70 million of new funding in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
‘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,’ a statement from Sport Ireland read this evening.
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 will be made up of four separate allocations, the first being ‘funding of up to €40 million for the three main field sports organisations – the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU’.
There will also be a Resilience Fund of up to €10 million established for national governing bodies to support the National Governing Bodies of Sport.
In addition, a Sports Club Resilience Fund of €15 million to support clubs and a Sports Restart and Renewal Fund of up to €5 million will be set up.
The €70 million finance package will now be invested through new grant schemes that ‘will be designed by Sport Ireland in consultation with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport’.
Chairman of Sport Ireland, Kieran Mulvey, said following the news: “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.
“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.”
Chief Executive, John Treacy added: “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.
“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.”
Welcoming the news FAI Chairperson Roy Barrett said: "We thank the Government and Ministers Ross and Griffin for their solidarity and support with this vote of confidence in Irish football and in our staff and our Association as we continue to work our way through the COVID-19 crisis.
“Our funds have been tested greatly by the effects of COVID-19 so this funding from Government is most welcome. It is also a testament to the hard work of all our staff in these trying times when they have continued to work to get Irish football back onto the playing fields.
"We have just announced a pathway for a Safer Return to Football for all our players, clubs and affiliates so this is a very positive day for Irish football.”
Referencing how tough it has been over the past few months for adults and children alike, FAI President Gerry McAnaney remarked: "This is very significant and welcome news for all the young people and adults who participate in all sports in Ireland, including football. Our Government can be proud of their actions today."
Additional Reporting from Gareth O'Reilly