Minister of State for Sport, Brendan Griffin, T.D, yesterday hosted the latest online meeting with representatives of the sporting sector. The engagement focused on the broad range of impacts on sporting organisations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting also considered the steps that would need to be taken in preparing for a return to sporting activity when public health circumstances allowed.

The sports sector representatives were: Mary O Connor (Federation of Irish Sport), Tom Ryan (GAA), Philip Browne (IRFU), Gary Owens (FAI), Ronan Murphy (Horse Sport Ireland), Niamh Daffy (CARA), Miriam Malone (PI), Jerome Pels (Hockey Ireland), Warren Deutrom (Cricket Ireland) and Graham Russell (Local Sports Partnerships).

CEO Fergal Carruth represented the IABA at a previous online meeting with the Minister,

Minister Griffin said: “Through my ongoing engagement with the sporting sector, I am acutely aware of how much Irish sport is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The resilience and commitment of the people who organise and run sport in Ireland has been very evident during this crisis. I greatly appreciate that, like so many other sectors, sport in Ireland has stepped up to the plate and is showing great determination to play its part in these extremely difficult times.

“With no fixtures taking place and major events being postponed, every sport has been brought to a halt. The Government is so appreciative of what sport is doing for the country at this time, including making facilities available as well as sports club members looking out for vulnerable people in their communities. All those who love sport are missing their normal pursuits and this is very difficult for sportspeople at every level. People at home want to stay physically active and there is welcome evidence all over the country of people going out for walks and runs within a 2km radius. This is definitely good for their wellbeing and I encourage more of it. I heard today of the great work being done by Local Sports Partnerships countrywide in facilitating this increased physical activity, which deserves to be publicly applauded.

“We are all are united in the aim of ensuring that the sector will recover when sport returns. The Government’s range of vital supports is helping sport in Ireland to survive and we will continue to maintain a constant dialogue with the sector during this rapidly evolving situation. The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted just how important sport is to the Irish people and I know that sport will have an enormous role in helping Ireland return to normality when we get through this situation.”