As part of an overall €73.6 million package of Covid-19 related funding for sporting bodies, the GAA, IRFU and FAI are to receive a combined total of €57 million.

While crowds were allowed in varying numbers throughout the season, income for all sporting organisations in the country has significantly decreased during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Monday's announcement sees the GAA receive that €20m, the IRFU €19m and the FAI €18m as part of the latest government funding.

A further €5.3m has been approved for sport equipment.

Gaelic Games benefited by almost €31m from state support in 2020.

The sum of almost €80m for the sport sector arrives under two separate support programmes.

The €73.6m in Covid funding is being allocated under five separate streams to help sports organisations to recover and grow post pandemic, supporting grassroots network of clubs and local sports partnerships, and ensure people of all ages and abilities return to sport and physical activity.

A further €5.3m is being provided to sport National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) for the provision of sports equipment including the roll out of defibrillators for clubs, kits for school children and state of the art equipment for our high-performance athletes.

Additional investment was provided through the 2021 Sport Ireland budget providing total Covid-19 support of €73.617m to the sector.

Minister of State for Sport and Gaeltacht Affairs Jack Chambers TD, welcomed today's announcement.

Speaking on The Today programme on RTÉ Radio, he said: "There has been a very robust process from Sport Ireland where they have engaged with every sporting organisation to look at their losses and solvency.

"March 2020 had a very devastating impact on the sporting system; empty stadia, no spectators, and drops in membership. What we have tried to do is to give stabilisation and survival to the sport system. We are now looking at our sporting organisations and that their grassroots and development systems are maintained.

"We can hopefully look forward in a positive way to 2022, after a very robust assessment and evaluation with all sporting organisations in how we can maintain their operations and ensure their financial viability.

"The state has put in hundreds of millions into our sport system for decades and to lose that with concerns around the ongoing operation of the sport system in the short-term would really undermine grassroots participation.

"That's why all sporting organisations are going to benefit from this fund."

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD said: "As a nation so fond of sports, we are very supportive of our clubs, our competitors and of course everyone who enjoys physical activity.

"But the last two years have been two of the most challenging for all sports organisations and the announcement of this funding will come as a relief for the sports sector. It’s important that the sport sector is on a firm financial footing.

"The additional funding, coupled with the increase in the budget for sport in 2022, will ensure the long-term viability of our sports organisations, high performance sport and will make sure sport remains accessible to all.

"These emergency funds will reach all corners of the country, a myriad of activities and ensure clubs and grassroots groups continue their great work."

A statement issued by the GAA on behalf of president Larry McCarthy and director general Tom Ryan read: "We would like to acknowledge the support the GAA has received and to thank Minsters Martin and Chambers in particular.

"This support is very welcome and will help us plan for 2022 after what has been a challenging 18 months.

"We would also like to thank Sport Ireland for their role in the process and support over the duration of the pandemic.

"Additionally, the supports made available to sporting clubs around the country will assist those promoting sport at grassroots level."

FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said: "On behalf of everyone involved in Irish football, I want to thank Ministers Martin and Chambers, their Government colleagues and Sport Ireland for this latest and most welcome financial support for our game and we look forward to the allocation of these funds to the FAI, the League of Ireland and Women's National League and Grassroots football.

"The commitment of Government to aid Irish football during the Covid-19 pandemic, both last year and now in 2021, has been vital to sustaining and growing the game at all levels across the country.

"The adherence of all our stakeholders to the Government’s Covid-19 guidelines throughout the pandemic has, I am sure, been reflected in this 45% increase in resilience grant funding to Irish football.

"That commitment to respecting the Government and FAI protocols at a time when we all just wanted to play football was exemplary and we are thankful to the entire Irish football community for their hard work and indeed patience."