The Irish Amateur Swimming Association (IASA) was given a copy of the report of the Murphy inquiry on 17 June 1998 and was requested to give it urgent and immediate consideration. I have had no discussions since with the association which provided me with its executive council's initial response on Monday, 22 June. This response includes the executive council's proposed strategy for implementation of the report's recommendations. I have indicated in my subsequent reply to the association that I shall consider the issue of funding as soon as it has completed its proposed consultations with its wider membership who must be satisfied as to the adequacy of procedures and arrangements in place in their organisation to secure a safe environment for their younger members.
The vast bulk of the recommendations in the report relate to the Irish Amateur Swimming Association. The only recommendation of specific relevance to my Department concerns the issue of public funding. The inquiry report recommends that increased public funding be allocated through the Sports Council to the association for necessary reorganisation and training. In any future consideration of funding, I shall be taking on board Dr. Murphy's recommendation and seeking reprioritisation by the association of its expenditure in favour of reorganisation and training as proposed in the inquiry's report.
Although the report makes no specific reference to the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children's Sport in Ireland, I have written to Dr. Breda McLeavey, Chairperson of the expert committee which drew up the code, and asked her to reconvene the committee to review its contents in the light of the report.
Finally, the Sports Council, in conjunction with the National Coaching and Training Centre, has begun planning a seminar for later this year for the national governing bodies of sport. The purpose is to ensure the widest dissemination among sports organisations of the inquiry's recommendations; the outcome of the review of the code of ethics; the findings of the Oireachtas Joint Committee and, most of all, to once again underline the importance of ensuring the protection of their younger members.