Monday 20 August 2018

Confirmed: The €1.5m promised by Minister Shane Ross at hockey homecoming is new investment

Shane Ross at Dublin Airport yesterday
Shane Ross at Dublin Airport yesterday Newsdesk Newsdesk

The €1.5m announced by Sports Minister Shane Ross yesterday at the homecoming of Ireland's hockey heroes is extra investment for 2018, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has confirmed.

There had been suggestions that the funding was the same €1.5 million for high performance programmes announced as part of the National Sports Policy last month but this is not the case.

A spokesperson confirmed to that the €1.5m Minister Ross revealed will be added to the Sport Ireland budget for 2018 and the amount announced in July refers to the 2019 budget.

There were emotional scenes when Ross announced the added funding as a number of the Irish hockey players burst into tears at Dublin Airport.

Some described Minister Ross' announcement as a PR stunt.

The women’s team have previously paid annual levies to underwrite their training programme, while the men's side had to self-fund ahead of the Rio Olympics.

Sport Ireland will distribute the added investment with Irish Hockey set to benefit from a substantial chunk of it after the heroics of Graham Shaw's team over the past few weeks.

This year, Hockey Ireland received core funding of €260,000 from Sport Ireland,€520,000 to run its two senior high performance programmes, €35,000 as part of the Women in Sport programme and a special one-off grant of €60,000 to assist in the preparations for both the men’s and women’s World Cups.

Any monies received will most likely be divided equally between the male and female squads.

Irish Hockey have sought to develop some form of training headquarters at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown but that has never materialised. They have been forced to rent pitches for training because the water-based pitch at the national stadium in UCD falls below the required standard.

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