Sport Ireland announce €24m funding package for high-performance sport

Money is chiefly aimed at preparing athletes and teams for next year’s Paris Olympics and Paralympics

Following a record 105 Irish medal haul on the international sporting stage in 2022 – 44 won at senior level, 61 at underage level – Sport Ireland has announced another multiannual funding package of €24 million towards high-performance sport for 2023, chiefly aimed at next year’s Paris Olympics.

This includes an additional €4 million of investment provided on last year, directed to specific initiatives within Irish high-performance sport.

Under the agreed multiannual funding commitment for 2022 to 2024, €10.8 million in High Performance Programme Funding will be provided to 19 national governing bodies to support the delivery of their performance programmes in 2023.

A further €950,000 has been allocated to the Olympic Federation of Ireland (€500,000) and Paralympics Ireland (€450,000) for operations and administration support.


Multi-annual funding is also extended to the International Carding Scheme, which provides financial support to athletes for their training and competition programmes.

Athletes that have achieved criteria for funding in 2022 will be on the International Carding Scheme for 2023 and 2024. This will allow athletes to focus on training and performances as they seek qualification for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris 2024.

For 2023, Sport Ireland will invest €3,486,500 under the International Carding Scheme. This will support 127 athletes and three relays/pool funding in 14 sports: 32 athletes have been awarded the top category of Podium funding (€40,000); 32 athletes have been awarded World Class funding (€25,000); 63 athletes have been awarded International funding (€18,000).

In 2022, Sport Ireland allocated €1.9 million in High Performance Impact Funding, and this funding stream will be again available in 2023. It will address one-off costs for high performance programmes and give recognition to the increased costs of doing business in high performance sport.

“Our High Performance Strategy sets high ambitions for Ireland’s performance at international competitions,” said Dr Una May, chief executive of Sport Ireland. “In order for these objectives to be achieved, athletes and organisations require consistent support.

“Sport Ireland will invest over €40 million in total in High Performance Programme Funding throughout the Paris cycle (2021-2024). This is an increase from €31 million in the Tokyo cycle (2017-2020). Through the delivery of a multiyear funding package, Sport Ireland is supporting athletes to focus fully on their training and preparation.”

This continued Sport Ireland tracking will invest over €67 million in high performance sport between 2022 and 2024.

There is also an extension of the player funding scheme for women’s senior hockey from 2022 to 2024. In quarter three of 2022, the programme was established, and Sport Ireland invested €150,000.

In 2023 and 2024, Sport Ireland will invest €300,000 annually to Hockey Ireland to support the women’s team. This funding will directly support players in their training and competition plans as they target qualification for Paris 2024.

Sport Ireland also announced the appointment of Ciarán Ward as head of High Performance Coaching. An International Judo Federation master coach, and a 1992 and 1996 Irish Olympian. Ward was performance director for Irish Judo since 2020, and before this, performance lead for Judo Northern Ireland (2016-2023).

As part of Sport Ireland’s commitment to support athletes’ transition to post athletic careers, 13 athletes were approved on the Athlete Career Transition (ACT) programme, in 2022 in addition to the 19 athletes approved in 2021. In total 33 athletes have been approved on the ACT programme which provides financial and non-financial supports to carded athletes on retirement.

High Performance Programme Funding Package – 2023/2021-2024

Rowing Ireland €1,093,333/€3,900,000

Paralympics Ireland €1,000,000/€3,700,000

Irish Athletic Boxing Association €965,000/€3,500,000

Athletics Ireland €841,667/€3,365,000

Hockey Ireland €856,667/€3,300,000

Irish Sailing Association €800,000/€3,200,000

Horse Sport Ireland €803,333/€3,100,000

Swim Ireland €756,667/€2,900,000

Cycling Ireland €520,000/€2,000,000

Golf Ireland €516,667/€2,000,000

Gymnastics Ireland €506,667/€1,750,000

Irish Rugby Football Union €416,667/€1,550,000

Badminton Ireland €346,667/€1,200,000

Cricket Ireland €333,333/ €1,200,000

Pentathlon Ireland €286,667/€1,150,000

Triathlon Ireland €250,000/€1,000,000

Irish Judo Association €226,667/€750,000

Canoeing Ireland €216,667/€700,000

Irish Taekwondo Union €150,000/€500,000

Total HP Programme Funding €10,886,669 €40,765,000

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics