INSTITUTE ISC Welcomes Government Announcement on Establishment of Irish Institute of Sport


July 16, 2006

The Irish Sports Council today (July 16, 2006) welcomed the announcement by An Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern T.D, that the Government has agreed to establish a new Irish Institute of Sport. The Institute will be a subsidiary of the Council and will focus on improving the performances of Irish elite athletes at major international sporting events such as Olympic and Paralympic Games, and European and World Championships.

In addition the Government endorsed the appointment of Mr. Sean Kelly, former President of the Gaelic Athletic Association, as Executive Chairman of the Institute.

Ossie Kilkenny, Chairman, Irish Sports Council said; “We are delighted that the Government has accepted the Council’s proposals for the Institute and for the appointment of Sean Kelly, former GAA President, as the Institute’s first Executive Chairman. We look forward to the Institute getting up and running quickly and being led by a person of proven ability, vision and drive”.

John Treacy, Chief Executive, Irish Sports Council; “We believe that the Institute will make a major impact on our elite athlete preparations for Beijing, but in particular, for London 2012. The Institute is an essential element of the sports infrastructure, building on the significant work of the Council to date. I want to pay tribute to the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Mr John O’Donoghue T.D. for providing financial and practical support for the Institute and working to ensure that it would be established.”

The Institute will be established as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Irish Sports Council. The restructuring of the support structures for elite sport will also see the National Coaching and Training Centre (based at the University of Limerick) evolve into Coaching Ireland with a specific remit regarding coach development and education. Coaching Ireland will also be a subsidiary of the Irish Sports Council.

Ultimately the Irish Institute of Sport will be located at the sports campus at Abbotstown. Until the facilities there come on stream the Institute will service athletes needs through existing facilities such as exist at third level institutions.

The proposals to establish the Institute of Sport arise from the Report of the Institute Expert Advisory Group commissioned by the Irish Sports Council and submitted to the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism in February 2006. The Council would like to thank all of the members of the Advisory Group for their efforts in putting together an excellent report and would like to make special mention of Dan Flinter who chaired the group.

The Government has provided the Irish Sports Council with €1 million in 2006 to begin the process of establishing the Institute of Sport while it is expected that the Institute’s budget will be €3.5 million in its first full year in operation in 2007. There are three phases of operation: short term to Beijing; medium term to London; and long term, beyond 2012. The Beijing cycle will cover 14 focus sports and approximately 90 Olympic and Paralympic athletes who are currently graded as either contracted world class or international class under the Council’s International Carding Scheme.

For Further information contact:
Paul McDermott  Irish Sports Council  087-6486295