Junior Sports Minister suggests possible funding cuts

By Seán Lynch

The Junior Sports Minister has suggested that future funding of Irish sporting organisations may become conditional based on whether they are encouraging women leadership roles.

Minster of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan said: “As part of the sports policy I’m trying to get more women involved in sports leadership and in the development of sport, which in itself is a fairly big challenge, because if you look at it most of our sporting organisations are run by men”.

Speaking at launch of The Social, Sport and Economic Impact Report of Great Limerick Run 2016 Minister Patrick O’Donovan praised the efforts of organisers in managing to attract women to partake in the event.

The Minister added, “It may be a time for sporting organisations to look to see how they can empower women in the running of sporting events and sporting organisations and that it may be conditional in future rounds of funding”.

The comments come on the back of huge sporting successes for Ireland’s female athletes in the Rio Olympics and Paralympics 2016, as well as a huge crowd turnout for the ladies football All-Ireland final.

Minister O’Donovan used the example set by the introduction of 30 percent gender quotas for political parties in fielding women. He said, “The stick had to be brought out eventually and from my point of view it may be time to bring out the stick now in terms of funding”.

The fifth Irish Sports Monitor report on Women in Sport in 2013 showed that females were under-represented in all aspects of leadership in sport.

Sport Ireland have announced that €600,000 will be allocated to 26 non-governmental bodies in 2016 through the Women in Sport programme, to encourage women to participate in sport.

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