April 28, 2021
Women’s sport funding review agreed by Joint Oireachtas Committee – Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Media, Tourism, Art, Culture and Sport Imelda Munster TD has proposed that the Department of Sport conducts a review of funding for women’s sport, and that a taskforce be established to look at wider issues affecting women’s sport. 

The proposals were made at a roundtable discussion of women’s sport at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

Teachta Munster said:

“The committee heard from representatives of the Camogie Association, the Federation of Irish Sport, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association and the Gaelic Players Association (GPA/WGPA), who made excellent contributions outlining the ongoing issues facing women in sport.

“From these contributions, it was clear that some representatives were in favour of a full review of the funding received by women’s sport, as well as a taskforce to consider a wide array of other issues facing women’s sporting organisations and players. 

“I was happy that other committee members agreed when I proposed that the committee should support these recommendations and write to the department.

“The representatives at the meeting demonstrated, in very stark terms, the inequality faced by women in sport, which is evident in terms of funding, facilities and grounds, media coverage, players’ expenses, and issues around the retention of players.

“I was happy to hear of the success of the 20×20 campaign despite the challenges of Covid-19, and there has been some progress in terms of funding. But there is a lot more work to be done.

“The funding of women’s sports needs to be reviewed, in terms of increased allocations and also to ensure that women’s sporting organisations can avail of existing grants, which are currently not available to them. 

“At this point in time, we do not even have access to clear figures around allocations specifically for women’s sport. We need that clarity as a starting point.

“I would like to see a taskforce established to look at how we can engage with girls at primary and secondary school level in order to increase participation and encourage retention of girls in sport.

“We also need to engage with the media to ensure that women’s sport receives the coverage and visibility it deserves. We saw the importance of visibility in terms of Ladies Football in the last two decades when TG4 came on board as a sponsor, and we need to build on that.

“We also have to address the matter of expenses for women sports players, and we have to look at facilities and other issues that face women in sport.

“I hope that the department will take the committee’s proposals on board, and that a funding review and a taskforce are set up as a matter of urgency. We need to get the ball rolling on this matter as quickly as possible given the huge job of work that is to be done.”

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