Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (504)

Denis Naughten


504. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps he is taking to implement a review by a company (details supplied) of Horse Sport Ireland; his views on the recommendation in the report of the additional resource requirements of Horse Sport Ireland to support the expansion of the sector in view of a series of recent reports on the need for diversification in agriculture; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37500/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In 2016, my Department commissioned Indecon International Consultants to undertake a review of Horse Sport Ireland.  The report was published in 2017. My Department continues to work closely with Horse Sport Ireland on the implementation of the recommendations. Much progress has been made in this regard. Notable is the progress made regarding the proposal to rationalise the board. This is close to finality with only the Northern representative outstanding.  A recruitment process through the Public Appointments Service was undertaken to select a new chairperson and three board members. These members are in place alongside the four industry representatives.

Regarding additional resource requirements for Horse Sport Ireland to support the expansion of the sector, I have increased the budget allocated to Horse Sport Ireland from €2.0m in 2017 to €2.5m in 2018 and I have approved a further increase of €500,000 to €3.0m in 2019.  This is an increase of 50% on the 2017 allocation.   

My Department is clearly fully committed to maximising the potential of the Sport Horse industry and continues to provide support to it both financially and with policy initiatives.  I have recently received a funding submission for 2020, the detail of which will be considered in the context of the 2020 budget negotiations.