The results of a study out today suggest that people on lower incomes do not play as much sport as those on higher incomes.

The research also found that poorer people contribute the bulk of the money spent on sport.

The findings are contained in a report by the Economic and Social Research Institute which was commissioned by the Irish Sports Council.

The authors have called on the Government to redirect funding for sport towards encouraging the less well off in society to take part in sporting activities.

The report finds that 37% of those who play sport are in the top quarter of earners, while only 16% of people in the bottom quarter are involved in sporting activities.

The report says that this over-representation needs to be addressed.

It says that while soccer has an image as a working class game and GAA is often thought to have a broader appeal, only around 33% of those who played these sports were from the lower half of earners.

But, even though sport is played more by those who are better off according to this study, poorer people actually pay for the vast majority of public money spent on sport in Ireland.

The report says that National Lottery funds supply 80% of the Department's sports budget. Yet, it says that lottery tickets are purchased in the main by the less well off and less educated.