Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Questions (507)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

507. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media further to her response to a club (details supplied), if further advice can be issued to the club in order to progress the mater; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [39206/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

As the club in question is not affiliated to the relevant National Governing Body, Motorsport Ireland, events organised by this club cannot be considered sporting events within the meaning of the public health regulations. The exemptions from restrictions that are available for sporting events are contingent on those events being held under the auspices of a National Governing Body (NGB) recognised and supported by Sport Ireland, or a school, university or higher education institution. This legislative requirement reflects the work undertaken by those officially recognised NGBs to develop and implement protocols for the safe return to training and competition, with guidance from Sport Ireland and the Expert Group on Return to Sport established by my Department. The detailed and comprehensive protocols applied for sports training and competition are aligned with international best practice, and informed by experience. In addition, the NGB structure allows for a degree of oversight of their affiliated clubs to ensure that the protocols in place are being adhered to, which provides an important assurance from the public health standpoint.

The Government has no plans to extend the current provisions for sporting events to include unaffiliated clubs, which it considers to be fully justified by the prevailing public health situation. Unaffiliated clubs therefore remain subject to the general rules on organised outdoor events, details of which are available at www.gov.ie/en/press-release/7894b-post-cabinet-statement-resilience-and-recovery-the-path-ahead/

Both Sport Ireland and I would encourage this particular club to communicate directly with the NGB for motorsport, Motorsport Ireland, which will be in a position to provide general advice and guidance on the applicable affiliation process.