The Irish sports sector will be boosted by funding of up to €65 million from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Sport Ireland will engage with national governing bodies to determine how much each association will receive depending on their circumstance.

The announcement was made by department ministers Catherine Martin and Jack Chambers today.

It means that, when allied to the additional current expenditure of €26.3 million already provided to Sport Ireland, a total of €91.3 million will have been allocated in additional current funding to support the sport sector in 2021.

"I am very pleased that we are able to continue to support our sporting bodies," Minister Chambers said.

"Last year, our Covid-19 support funding helped ensure that our sporting bodies were in a position to maintain operations, avoid insolvency and prepare for a return to activity.

"The funding also provided support with Covid-19 related costs and losses in 166 Rugby clubs, over 400 grassroots and League of Ireland Clubs along with 33,271 Gaelic Games teams. In addition, support was provided to 1,637 clubs throughout the country through small grants operated by Local Sports Partnerships."

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Minister Chambers added that while the country had seen the positive impact of the return of sporting fixtures, a lot more work needed to be done.

He acknowledged that the indoor sports sector has been particularly badly hit, with indoor sports only set to resume their activities this month.

The €65 million package is intended to support national governing bodies of sport and sports clubs arising from the significant impact of Covid-19 restrictions on the sports sector.

The fund will be used for support the main field sports which includes the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU as well as a resilience fund will also be provided to support the other national governing bodies and a sports club resilience fund to support clubs from all sports

In addition, a swimming pools and facilities fund and resumption of sport and physical activity fund will also be made available.

The schemes will be run by Sport Ireland and the funding will be distributed through the National Governing Bodies of Sport.

"The sport sector has been, and continues to be, severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic," said Minister Catherine Martin.

"Throughout this period, we have been continuously engaging with the sector, and we know that sporting bodies and clubs have been severely hit in every aspect of their operations, not least financially. This further allocation of €65 million will allow Sport Ireland, through a number of different schemes, to assist those sporting bodies and clubs which are in greatest need, as we strive to ensure that our sporting sector is supported at every level across the country."

Sport Ireland Kieran Mulvey is pleased to see the government support their case for more financial aid: "While society and economy continues to recover after a difficult 18 months, many challenges still lay ahead.

"We are grateful for the ongoing support of Minister Martin, Minister Chambers and their colleagues in Government, who have responded positively to the representations made by Sport Ireland and the wider sport sector.

"The funding announced by the ministers provides certainty in planning and stability as the sport sector continues to reopen and we look forward with positivity and optimism as the sport at large gets back on its feet."

The Football Association of Ireland have said they engage with Sport Ireland on the allocation of "much-needed funds to support all of our clubs, affiliates, volunteers and the association itself through the very serious financial issues caused by the impact of the global pandemic on our sport across the year".