Stars calls for sports funding to be protected in Budget
SOME of the country's most high-profile stars of the pitch and track have called for the Government to maintain sports funding in the up-coming Budget.
Yesterday a delegation of personalities including rugby player Paul O'Connell, hurling player Lar Corbett, boxer Katie Taylor, soccer player Stephen Rice, swimmer Andrew Bree, camogie player Claire O'Connor, paraolympian Garrett Culliton and special Olympian Robert Deegan handed over a petition to Sports Minister Mary Hanafin.
The Federation of Irish Sports (FIS) want the same amount invested in the development of Irish sport this year -- €49.6m -- to be given in the next Budget. "The money invested in sport works at many different levels and has impacts for everyone whether it is in terms of health, the economy, tourism or the very fabric of the community in Ireland," the FIS said.
Any cuts which could be introduced would be felt for many decades to come, said the body.
Ms Hanafin met with the delegation yesterday, however, she could not give them any assurances, said an FIS spokesperson.