There are four bodies, each with its own statutory base, involved in the administration of elements of sports policy.
The Irish Sports Council, which is funded by my Department, has a statutory role in encouraging the promotion, development and co-ordination of sport. The Irish Sports Council Act, 1999 states that the ISC has responsibility for developing "strategies for increasing participation in recreational sport and to coordinate their implementation by all bodies (including public authorities and publicly funded bodies) involved in promoting recreational sport and providing recreational facilities".
The ISC's mission is "To plan, lead and coordinate the sustainable development of competitive and recreational sport in Ireland". In that context, the ISC operates many programmes to promote, and support participation in, sport for all.
The ISC has been central to developing sporting ability leading to high performance, while at the same time driving participation levels in conjunction with the National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships, the Institute of Sport, Coaching Ireland and the Olympic and Paralympic Councils.
In 2006, the Government approved the establishment of the Irish Institute of Sport. The Institute, which has no statutory basis, has been working with the National Governing Bodies of Sport and the elite athletes in ensuring that they have available to them the most up-to-date supports as they prepare to represent Ireland at international events and the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
As Deputies will be aware, it was the intention to introduce legislation to enable the Irish Sports Council to establish subsidiaries and that the Institute would be given such legal status. However, as I indicated to Deputies in January, in responding to the OECD Report on Public Sector Reform and in particular to its recommendations on the number of agencies involved in public administration, I have decided not to establish the Institute as a subsidiary of the ISC. I will therefore not be proceeding with legislation to enable the ISC to establish subsidiaries.
As regards the status of the Institute, it is functioning under the aegis of the Irish Sports Council and this will remain the position.
Coaching Ireland, which is a non-statutory body, also functions under the aegis of the ISC, which provides an annual budget for its operation. The remit of Coaching Ireland is to lead the development of coaching on the island of Ireland. Its key work is the development and implementation of the Coach Development Model for all sports. Coaching Ireland's role is to work with each NGB to fully establish and deliver the Coach Development Model in their sport.
The National Sports Campus Development Authority was established under legislation with a specific remit of delivering the National Sports Campus project. I will be dealing more specifically on my plans for the Campus project in replying to other parliamentary questions on the subject. However I will not be making any change to the status of the Authority at this time.
Horse Racing Ireland is established under legislation to fund and promote the thoroughbred industry and has overall responsibility for the administration of Irish horse racing. Bord na gCon controls the promotion and operation of greyhound racing and all aspects of the greyhound industry. Both of these organisations operate on a stand-alone statutory basis and I will not be changing their status.
As regards the status of these bodies each of which oversees a distinct element of sports policy, I have no plans at present to reduce or amalgamate any of these bodies nor do I believe that any such reduction or amalgamation would be of any benefit to Irish sport.