Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Ceisteanna (95)

Imelda Munster


95. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on proposals to create a single all-Ireland soccer league; if the required funding will be provided; and if he has had meetings or interactions with groups or persons on the matter. [29565/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The organisation and delivery of sport in Ireland is mainly a matter for National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs).  NGBs are independent and autonomous bodies and any proposals regarding an all-Ireland league would be a matter for the relevant NGBs.  

The organisation of sport on an all-island basis has worked very successfully for many sports, such as cricket, Gaelic games, hockey and rugby.  I am very supportive of cross-border sporting initiatives and collaborations between sporting organisations.  Such approaches have excellent potential to enhance relationships on both parts of the island of Ireland.  The Football Association of Ireland and Irish Football Association have created a new cross-border competition called the Unite the Union Champions Cup. It is a welcome addition to the football calendar, which has received a warm welcome from clubs and supporters. I fully support this initiative which has the potential to bring people together and enhance relationships in both parts of the island of Ireland.

While I am aware that there are proposals regarding an all-Ireland soccer league, I have not had any meetings or discussions on those proposals with the groups or persons involved.   

Any such proposals would be a matter for the NGBs concerned and if the organisations were to bring forward any proposals, Sport Ireland would be happy to offer guidance and assistance where appropriate.