Dáil Question No: 116

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on elite athlete funding in the context of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Anthony Lawlor.

For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 27th November, 2012.

Ref No: 52512/12

Reply: Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar

The Irish Sports Council, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the promotion, development and co-ordination of sport, including the allocation of funding to elite athletes.

The International Carding Scheme, which provides grant payments directly to high performance athletes, has been a central part of the high performance system in Ireland since its introduction in 1998. Currently the Scheme accounts for about 25% of the Irish Sports Council’s investment in high performance sport and it has contributed to the measurable improvement in performances in recent years. The Irish Sports Council published a review into the future of the International Carding Scheme on 16 November. This review includes a number of key recommendations. Details of the Carding Scheme for 2013 will be announced in the new year.

The Irish Sports Council is also carrying out a review of performances at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. A series of debriefs with relevant National Governing Bodies of Sport are close to completion. Recommendations from the debriefs will inform the performance plans of each targeted sport for the next Olympic cycle to Rio 2016.

I have referred the Deputy’s question to the Irish Sports Council for a more detailed response. I would ask the Deputy to inform my office if a reply is not received within 10 days.