Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Questions (292, 293)

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

359 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism his views on a submission made by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37955/06]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism)

Special Olympics Ireland has made a submission to the Government on the development and funding of the Special Olympics Programme and this submission is being considered.

The Irish Sports Council was set up as a statutory body in July 1999 with responsibility for the development of sport, increasing participation at all levels and raising standards. The provision in funding for the Irish Sports Council in the 2006 Estimates is €40.9 million, in comparison to just over €13 million in 2000.

The Sports Council provides funding to recognised National Governing Bodies (NGB) of sport including Special Olympics Ireland. NGBs are dealt with as autonomous organisations and grants are allocated under agreed funding conditions and with specific priorities in mind. The grant allocation process is run on an annual basis by the Sports Council, with NGBs submitting an application form covering their programmes for the coming year.

I recognise the extensive benefits that accrue to persons with intellectual disabilities through the sporting and social activities provided by Special Olympics Ireland. Since 1999, Special Olympics Ireland has received over €4 million in funding from the Sports Council with grants of €596,473 in 2006.

Tony Gregory

Question:

360 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the financial assistance available to participants in the sport of canoeing including those who represent Ireland on the world stage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37446/06]

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The Irish Sports Council was set up as a statutory body in July 1999 with responsibility for the development of sport, increasing participation at all levels and raising standards. The provision in funding for the Irish Sports Council in the 2006 Estimates is €40.9 million, in comparison to just over €13 million in 2000.

The Sports Council provides funding to recognised National Governing Bodies (NGBs) including the Irish Canoe Union (ICU). NGBs are dealt with as autonomous organisations and grants are allocated under agreed funding conditions and with specific priorities in mind. The grant allocation process is run on an annual basis by the Sports Council, with NGBs submitting an application form covering their programmes for the coming year.

Since 1999, the ICU has received almost €4 million (€3,973,517) in funding from the Irish Sports Council with grants of €571,057 in 2006. Of the money allocated to the ICU in 2006, €275,000 was specifically targeted at high performance and €94,000 under the International Carding Scheme, which provides direct support in terms of grant-aid and indirect support in terms of sport science and medical backup to elite and top aspiring athletes.

Since 1998, the sport of canoeing has also received over €1 million in funding under the national lottery-funded Sports Capital Programme administered by my Department.

On 9th November 2006, I announced further funding for the provision of high-performance sports equipment for elite athletes. Of the eight grants announced, the ICU received an allocation of €56,146.