Sport Ireland has maintained funding levels similar to last year for national governing bodies and high-performance athletes.

Today's announcement follows a year in which the Sport sector has been significantly impacted by Covid-19 restrictions in place since March 2020.

Funding of €13.8million for NGBs is maintained from 2020, which Sport Ireland said would "provide stability and certainty to organisations throughout 2021, while high-performance programme funding will also be maintained at €8,500,000.

High-performance investment is bolstered by funding of €2.68m (up from €2.4) through the International Carding Scheme for 130 athletes and 6 Tokyo Olympics targeted relays / squads across 16 sports.

The three major field sports bodies, the GAA (€2,389,653), IRFU (€2,250,843) and the FAI (€5,800,000) also received funds to support coaching and games development, with the FAI amount subject to approval by the Board of Sport Ireland.

Last year, the three organisations also received separate payments of €62m, which were made in response to the effects of the pandemic.

Funding of €9.5 million (up 15%) has been approved for the network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships which Sport Ireland said "provides an opportunity for Sport Ireland to support a locally led safe return to sport and to further build the capacity of LSPs, increasing their reach and impact across Ireland".

Welcoming today's announcement, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin acknowledged the importance of sport and physical activity; "The past year has shown us yet again the important role that sport and physical activity plays in our lives and the vital contribution it makes to our physical and mental wellbeing."

Minister of State for Sport & the Gaeltacht Jack Chambers TD acknowledged the difficulties faced by the High Performance community in recent months: "Ireland has big ambitions on the international stage and the funding announced today will assist in furthering these ambitions. While the Olympic and Paralympic Games were postponed in 2020, the hard work and commitment from our high performance athletes, their National Governing Bodies and their support teams has continued over the past year and we are all now greatly looking forward to the summer games and beyond.

Chief executive of Sport Ireland John Treacy said: "This funding will help LSPs continue this work and ensure that everyone in our society has the opportunity to share in the enjoyment as well as the mental and physical health benefits of sport and physical activity.

"But now we look forward, toward an Olympic and Paralympic Games, to the reopening of sport and physical activity for the general public and a light at the end of the tunnel. There is cause for optimism as children’s sport and some outdoor activity returns and we look forward to even more opportunities to enjoy sport and physical activity in the months ahead".