I propose to take Questions Nos. 279, 280 and 281 together.
A funding package of up to €70 million was announced on Friday 19th June to support the sport sector, which has been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The funding package will be administered by Sport Ireland, which is the statutory body with responsibility for the development of sport. This funding package includes;
- Funding of up to €40m for the three main field sports organisations – the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU.
- a Resilience Fund of up to €10m to support the National Governing Bodies of Sport,
- a Sports Club Resilience Fund of up to €15m to support clubs, and
- a Sports Restart and Renewal Fund of up to €5m.
The funding will be administered by Sport Ireland and will be invested through new grant schemes with Sport Ireland’s recognised funding partners, i.e. National Governing Bodies of Sport, Local Sports Partnerships and other funded sporting organisations.
Sport Ireland issued application forms for assistance under the grant schemes direct to funded bodies on Monday 27 July and hosted a meeting with funded bodies on Tuesday 28 July to outline the process. The closing date for applications to be submitted to Sport Ireland from funded organisations will be 14 September. It is anticipated that an announcement of funding allocations will be made by Sport Ireland in October 2020, dependent on the level of applications received.
Sport Ireland will engage directly with the Football Association of Ireland in respect of grant funding for the association and football clubs under these grant funding schemes.
In relation to the Deputy's reference to a Memorandum of Understanding, the Covid-19 funding support is being provided as grant funding by Sport Ireland and the terms and conditions of funding will be notified by Sport Ireland to grantees. There is no proposal to put any MOU in place in relation to this funding. As the Deputy is aware, an existing MOU is in place wth the Football Association of Ireland in respect of a financial support package approved for it by the then Government on 30 January 2020.
At a meeting on 27 July, my colleagues Minister Catherine Martin. T.D. and Minister of State Jack Chambers, T.D. confirmed to the Board of the FAI that it remains the case that the suspension of funding to the FAI will not be lifted until the Sport Ireland Board is satisfied that necessary progress has been made to implement the governance and financial control reforms set out in the aforementioned MOU.