Reduced number of Ireland’s sporting elite receive maximum funding

Rob Heffernan among notable absentees as Paralympics and rowing are best supported

Just 12 of Ireland’s sporting elite have received the maximum ‘podium’ amount of funding for 2018, four less than last year.

Each will receive €40,000 in individual funding towards training, coaching and other support requirements, part of the total package of €1.85 million announced today under the Sport Ireland International Carding Scheme: a total of €1.9m has been budgeted for 2018, the full amount to be allocated by the end of the year.

Athlete Thomas Barr, boxer Joe Ward, sailor Annalise Murphy and rowers Paul and Gary O'Donovan are among the podium dozen - all considered medal prospects for events this year, and more importantly for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Six of the podium grants of €40,000 go to Paralympic athletes, including Jason Smyth, Michael McKillop, Niamh McCarthy, Noelle Lennihan and Orla Barry, plus swimmer Ellen Keane. The only other sport to receive the maximum podium grant is Paralympics cycling, with Katie George Dunleavy and her pilot Eve McCrystal (who get a combined grant of €60,000).

There are some notable absentees, including race walker Rob Heffernan, who had been among the podium grants for the last number of years: although not yet officially retired, Heffernan has been exploring other interests of late (namely Dancing with the Stars), and may still be open to funding should he announce any further competitive plans.

Rower Sanita Puspure, who also received the maximum podium grant last year, drops down to 'world class' level, still worth €20,000: also getting the 'world class' grant are Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll, somewhat surprisingly given they won gold medals at both the 2017 European and World Rowing Championships in the lightweight men's pair category.

In all, 90 athletes get some level of funding - with 69 from Olympic sports, and 21 from Paralympics sports. After the Paralympics, which get €325,000 in total, Irish rowers are now the next best supported, with €212,000 in total, followed by Irish athletes with €184,000, and then boxers with €172,000 in total.

A further €200,000 has been allocated to the Team Ireland Golf Scheme. This is awarded to the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI) for the running and administration of the Scheme. Sport Ireland’s investment in this Scheme facilitates direct player support (€130,000) and indirect player support including the Challenge Tour Event and the provision of a training base in Quinta do Lago, Portugal.

Grants worth €130,000 have been allocated to 12 emerging professionals with Gavin Moynihan and Stephanie Meadow receiving the largest individual grants of €20,000 each.

Several emerging sporting talents also benefit this year, including Rhys McClenaghan (Gymnastics Ireland), Megan Fletcher (Judo) and Mona McSharry (Swimming) who are all new to the Scheme.

Earlier this year Sport Ireland announced €7m to be invested directly into the high performance programmes of 20 National Governing Bodies; investment will also be made to the Olympic Council of Ireland and Paralympics Ireland towards Tokyo 2020.

Who got what: the 2018 International Carding Scheme athletes:

Athletics Ireland Thomas Barr Podium €40,000.00
Athletics Ireland Ciara Mageean World Class €20,000.00
Athletics Ireland Fionnula McCormack World Class €20,000.0
Athletics Ireland Brian Gregan World Class €16,000.00
Athletics Ireland Mark English World Class €16,000.00
Athletics Ireland Alex Wright International €12,000.00
Athletics Ireland Brendan Boyce International €12,000.00
Athletics Ireland Christine McMahon International €12,000.00
Athletics Ireland Michelle Finn International €12,000.00
Athletics Ireland Paul Pollock International €12,000.00
Athletics Ireland Sara Treacy International €12,000.00
Athletics Ireland €184,000.00

Badminton Ireland Chloe Magee World Class €20,000.00
Badminton Ireland Sam Magee World Class €20,000.00
Badminton Ireland Joshua Magee International €12,000.0
Badminton Ireland (Para) Niall McVeigh International €12,000.00
Badminton Ireland €64,000.00

Canoeing Ireland Liam Jegou International €12,000.00
Canoeing Ireland (Para) Patrick O'Leary World Class €20,000.00
Canoeing Ireland Jennifer Egan World Class €20,000.00
Canoeing Ireland Tom Brennan International €12,000.00
Canoeing Ireland €64,000.00

Cycling Ireland Felix English World Class €20,000.00
Cycling Ireland Lydia Boylan World Class €20,000.00
Cycling Ireland Lydia Gurley World Class €20,000.00
Cycling Ireland Marc Potts International €12,000.00
Cycling Ireland Mark Downey World Class €20,000.00
Cycling Ireland Robyn Stewart World Class €20,000.00
Cycling Ireland Shannon McCurley International €8,000.00
Cycling Ireland (Para) Colin Lynch World Class €20,000.00
Cycling Ireland (Para) Katie George Dunlevy & Eve McCrystal Podium €60,000.00
Cycling Ireland (Para) Peter Ryan & Sean Hahessy International €18,000.00
Cycling Ireland (Para) Ronan Grimes International €12,000.00
Cycling Ireland Men's Under 23 Development Team Pool Funding €10,000.00
Cycling Ireland Women's Pursuit Team Pool Funding €20,000.00
Cycling Ireland €250,000.00

Irish Athletic Boxing Association Joe Ward Podium €40,000.00
Irish Athletic Boxing Association Brendan Irvine World Class €20,000.0
Irish Athletic Boxing Association Kurt Walker World Class €20,000.00
Irish Athletic Boxing Association Kellie Harrington World Class €20,000.00
Irish Athletic Boxing Association Sean McComb International €12,000.00
Irish Athletic Boxing Association Michael Nevin International €12,000.00
Irish Athletic Boxing Association Christina Desmond International €12,000.00
Irish Athletic Boxing Association Grainne Walsh International €12,000.00
Irish Athletic Boxing Association Kieran Molloy International €12,000.00
Irish Athletic Boxing Association Michaela Walsh International €12,000.00
Irish Athletic Boxing Association €172,000.00

Irish Clay Target Shooting Association Ian O'Sullivan World Class €20,000.00
Irish Clay Target Shooting Association Aoife Gormally International €12,000.00
Irish Clay Target Shooting Association €32,000.00

Irish Sailing Association Annalise Murphy Podium €40,000.00
Irish Sailing Association Ryan Seaton World Class €20,000.00
Irish Sailing Association Finn Lynch International €12,000.00
Irish Sailing Association Aoife Hopkins International €12,000.00
Irish Sailing Association Seafra Guilfoyle World Class €20,000.00
Irish Sailing Association Aisling Keller International €12,000.00
Irish Sailing Association €116,000.00

Irish Judo Association Megan Fletcher International €12,000.00
Irish Judo Association Ben Fletcher International €12,000.00
Irish Judo Association €24,000.00

Paralympics Ireland (Athletics) Jason Smyth Podium €40,000.00
Paralympics Ireland (Athletics) Greta Streimikyte World Class €20,000.00
Paralympics Ireland (Athletics) Michael McKillop Podium €40,000.00
Paralympics Ireland (Athletics) Niamh McCarthy Podium €40,000.00
Paralympics Ireland (Athletics) Noelle Lennihan Podium €40,000.00
Paralympics Ireland (Athletics) Orla Barry Podium €40,000.00
Paralympics Ireland (Athletics) Paul Keogan International €12,000.00
Paralympics Ireland (Athletics) Patrick Monahan International €12,000.00
Paralympics Ireland (Athletics) Orla Comerford International €12,000.00
Paralympics Ireland (Swimming) Ellen Keane Podium €40,000.00
Paralympics Ireland (Swimming) Ailbhe Kelly International €12,000.00
Paralympics Ireland (Swimming) Barry McClements International €12,000.00
Paralympics Ireland (Swimming) Nicole Turner World Class €20,000.00
Paralympics Ireland (Swimming) James Scully International €12,000.00
Paralympics Ireland €352,000.00

Pentathlon Ireland Kate Coleman International €12,000.00
Pentathlon Ireland Sive Brassill International €12,000.00
Pentathlon Ireland Natalya Coyle World Class €20,000.00
Pentathlon Ireland Arthur Lanigan O'Keeffe World Class €20,000.00
Pentathlon Ireland €64,000.00

Rowing Ireland Paul O'Donovan Podium €40,000.00
Rowing Ireland Gary O'Donovan Podium €40,000.00
Rowing Ireland Denise Walsh World Class €20,000.00
Rowing Ireland Mark O'Donovan World Class €20,000.00
Rowing Ireland Sanita Puspure World Class €20,000.00
Rowing Ireland Shane O'Driscoll World Class €20,000.00
Rowing Ireland Aifric Keogh World Class €20,000.0
Rowing Ireland Aileen Crowley World Class €20,000.00
Rowing Ireland Monika Dukarska International €12,000.00
Rowing Ireland Men's Under 23 Programme Pool Funding €40,000.00
Rowing Ireland €212,000.00

Swim Ireland Oliver Dingley World Class €20,000.00
Swim Ireland Mona McSharry World Class €20,000.00
Swim Ireland Shane Ryan World Class €20,000.00
Swim Ireland Conor Ferguson World Class €20,000.00
Swim Ireland Alex Murphy International €12,000.00
Swim Ireland Brendan Hyland International €12,000.00
Swim Ireland Jordan Sloan International €12,000.0
Swim Ireland Nicholas Quinn International €12,000.0
Swim Ireland Men's Freestyle Relay International €12,000.00
Swim Ireland Men's Medley Relay International €12,000.00
Swim Ireland €152,000.00

Table Tennis (Para) Colin Judge World Class €20,000.00
Table Tennis (Para) €20,000.00

Triathlon Ireland Russell White International €12,000.00
Triathlon Ireland €12,000.00

Irish Taekwondo Union Jack Woolley International €12,000.00
Irish Taekwondo Union €12,000.00

Gymnastics Ireland Rhys McClenaghan Pool Funding €25,000.00
Gymnastics Ireland Andrew Smith
Gymnastics Ireland €25,000.00

Hockey Ireland Team Funding Pool Funding €45,000.00
Hockey Ireland €45,000.00

Total €1,850,000.00