Hockey to receive ‘six-figure sum’ as part of €1.5m Olympic money

Funds have been drawn from a €12m dividend from the Irish Aviation Authority

 The Irish Hockey team  following their reception at City Hall. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

The Irish Hockey team following their reception at City Hall. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

 

Hockey will be awarded a six-figure funding boost as part of an additional €1.5 million being announced for Olympic preparations on Monday.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross will outline the allocation of funding for more than 10 sporting organisations on Monday with rowing, sailing, athletics, paralympics and the Olympic Council of Ireland all set to benefit.

Mr Ross had pledged the monies in response to the achievements of the women’s hockey team at the World Championships last month.

Senior sources said hockey would receive a “healthy six-figure sum”, amounting to hundreds of thousands, as part of the distribution.

The funding, which will be awarded and distributed by Sport Ireland, must be spent this year by all bodies benefiting.

It is expected to be directed towards athlete support, competition support, Tokyo camps and preparations, high performance programmes, support and equipment.

The Irish Times understands the money has been drawn from a €12 million dividend from the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).

Under an arrangement reached with the Department of Finance earlier this year, €6 million was given to the exchequer and €6 million was given to the Department of Transport.

Of the monies given to the department, €1.5 million will be allocated to sporting organisations to assist with Olympic preparation ahead of Tokyo.

Under pressure

The Minister had come under pressure to clarify where the funds were coming from after making the announcement at the homecoming of the hockey team last week.

There was criticism this was not additional money, but senior Government figures outlined it was part of the IAA dividend, which had been allocated previously.

Ireland had been the second-lowest ranked of the 16 teams going into the World Championships in London. It reached the finals of the tournament but was defeated by the Netherlands.

Sport Ireland’s total funding to Irish hockey was in the region of €900,000 before today’s announcement.