Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Questions (122, 175)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

122. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Sport if he will give an undertaking that the Irish Homeless World Cup soccer team will receive funding for 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8610/13]

View answer

Martin Ferris

Question:

175. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to ensure that the Big Issue street leagues receive adequate funding to ensure their survival; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8609/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 122 and 175 together.

The street leagues do very valuable work with the homeless, drug and alcohol dependant individuals in rehabilitation, ex-offenders, people who are long-term unemployed with identified learning disabilities, refugees and asylum seekers.  Programmes such as the street leagues can have a very positive impact for participants and can assist in leading to positive life changes. The street leagues present a wonderful opportunity for participants to become involved in sport and the possibility of representing Ireland at the Homeless World Cup. I firmly believe that sport can play a very important role in Irish society and the homeless leagues are a very good example of this.

The Irish Sports Council, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the allocation of current expenditure funding for sports organisations. The Council channels funding through the National Governing Bodies of Sport. In the case of soccer, funding is provided to the FAI.

I am informed by the Irish Sports Council that the homeless street leagues are affiliated to the FAI and that the FAI has been providing financial and other support for the leagues through its Football for All programme since 2006.  The street leagues have been an important programme for the FAI in light of the good work they do on social inclusion in a number of cities and towns around Ireland.

I am also informed that the FAI has confirmed that it will provide funding to the Street Leagues again in 2013 but that final figures are not yet agreed.