More than 1,900 clubs and schools have received funding across 35 sports in a major Government allocation worth €144m.

The record funding allocation was secured following negotiations between Minister with responsibility for Sport Jack Chambers and Michael McGrath, Public Expenditure Minister.

It is the country's largest ever Sports Capital & Equipment Programme distribution.

The assessment process for grant provision was adjusted for this year’s programme with greater marks awarded to projects which would increase female participation, as well as increasing participation for people with disabilities. There was also greater emphasis placed this year on applications which were serving lower socio-economic areas and areas of underdevelopment.

The €144m will cater for clubs, schools, community groups, associations and sports bodies all over the country to develop sports facilities and purchase sports equipment.

All applications were assessed by the Department of Sport officials and considered under a range of criteria and then scored accordingly

Due to the amount of funding secured for this round of funding, all eligible applications have received an allocation - with the highest scoring applications receiving the largest allocations. Many applications received the full amount sought. Some applications were deemed ineligible or invalid following their assessment.

However, in a further change to the programme this year, these applicants will have one final chance to amend their application so may still receive some funding. A further €6m has been set aside for this purpose.

Under the Sports Capital Programme over 13,000 projects have now benefited from sports capital funding since 1998, bringing the total allocations in that time to over €1billion.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin described it as "a great day for sport".

"It has been a tough two years for many sports clubs but the pandemic really demonstrated the importance of sport for our collective well-being.

"The grants we are announcing today will significantly improve sports facilities in every county. There is a huge variety of different sports covered and I was particularly pleased that the scoring system placed an even greater emphasis on female participation," Minister Martin added.

"Over 30 sports and activities are represented, ranging from competitive, track and field games right through to walking."

Finn Harps, Sligo Rovers, Bray Wanderers, Cobh Ramblers, Longford Town and Athlone own were among the League of Ireland clubs to receive grants, of between €48,000 and €300,000, with GAA, camogie and LGFA county boards and clubs across the country also availing of grants of up to €300,000.