HIGH PERFORMANCE Top Irish Athletes Receive Performance Bonuses


Irish Sports Council Acknowledges Outstanding International Performances in 2006

Minister Announces €841,000 Investment in Equipment for High Performance Squads

November 9, 2006.

Derval O’Rourke, Kenneth Egan, Jason Smyth and the outstanding rowing Lightweight Four crew were among the first beneficiaries of new bonus payments under the Irish Sports Council’s International Carding Scheme.

The Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Mr. John O’Donoghue T.D., presented the Irish Sports Council awards to 20 athletes who excelled in international competition in 2006 at a special ceremony in Dublin today (November 9).

The Irish Sports Council introduced the new bonus aspect to the International Carding Scheme, the direct support programme for international athletes.  The Performance Incentive Payment is designed to recognise excellent performances particularly in a championship environment.

Athletes in the developmental, international, world class and contracted categories receive a bonus of 25% of their annual grant when they achieve an agreed target.  For the elite athletes a medal at a championship event automatically qualifies them for the payment, with 12 athletes achieving this standard. A further 8 athletes in international and development categories exceeded stated targets and therefore were also recognized under the new Scheme.

Minister O’Donoghue: “Each athlete honoured today is ambitious and is working towards even greater achievements and we wish them great future success. It is also important to reflect on hard won success and celebrate marvellous achievements in a great year for Irish sport”.

The Minister also announced that his Department, following proposals presented by the Irish Sports Council and the Irish Institute of Sport, will invest €841,637 in new equipment for the high performance squads. Included in the investment will be state of the art equipment for use in training and competition by Ireland’s elite athletes, rowers, boxers, Paralympians and sailors.

Ossie Kilkenny, Chairperson, Irish Sports Council: “2006 saw a number of breakthrough performances across a range of disciplines by emerging Irish talent. It is essential that we acknowledge and appreciate achievement in international sport. The Performance Incentive Payment is one of the new innovations in high performance sport that is designed to recognise the best, support the best and reward the best.”

John Treacy: “This was a very encouraging year for Irish sport, not only because of the successes we are acknowledging today. Each athlete is part of a talented squad with a depth of talent and a young age profile. That is exciting and also makes us optimistic for the future”.

Sean Kelly, the Executive Director of the Irish Institute of Sport attended the event. He told the gathering that the Irish Sports Council approved an operational plan for the Institute for 2007.  The Institute was already active, working with the focus sports on their plans in 2006 and 2007 and identifying the areas where it can add value to individual athletes and squads. It has already facilitated additional coaching support in athletics, sailing, hockey, cycling and Clay Pigeon Shooting. 

Sean Kelly, Executive Director of the Irish Institute of Sport : “The Irish Institute of Sport is about athletes of this calibre.  They have demonstrated the ability and commitment to make a mark on the highest levels of international sport and it is our job to ensure they will have world-class support services to make the best of that talent and drive. Developments such as the investment in world class equipment for the athletes, outlined by the Minister today, give a clear signal of our commitment to the athletes”.


For further Information contact

Paul McDermott  Irish Sports Council 087-6486295

2006 Performance Incentive Payments

The Performance Incentive Payment was introduced as a new innovation for the International Carding Scheme for 2006. The new initiative is designed to recognise excellent performances particularly in a championship environment. Athletes in the developmental, international, world class and contracted categories will receive a bonus of 25% of their annual grant when they achieve an agreed target.  Performance targets for each sport are included in the sports specific criteria.

Championship Medalists

• Derval O’Rourke achieved the breakthrough performance of the year winning a World Indoor Championship Gold Medal at 60-meter hurdle and a European Championships Silver Medal in Gothenburg in the 100-meter hurdles.

• Richard Archibald, Paul Griffin, Eugene Coakley, Gearoid Towey constitute the crew of the Lightweight Four. The award is made on the basis of their World Championship bronze medal in Eton, which followed their outstanding World Cup series, becoming the first Irish boat to win the series outright.

• Kenneth Egan won a bronze medal in the Light Heavyweight division at the European Boxing Championships in Plovdiv Bulgaria in July. Twice a World Championship quarter finalist the Neilstown boxer enjoyed an excellent year at multi-nation tournaments.

• Jason Smyth won gold medals in the 100 meters and 200 meters at the Paralympic World Athletics Championships in Assen, Holland, in September. Competing in the T13 class for visually impaired athletes the Derry 19 year old broke the world records for both events at the Championship with times of  10.86 seconds and 21.83 seconds.

• Katie Taylor won the Gold Medal in the Lightweight 60 kg division of the European Championship. Winning her title for the second consecutive year, the 20-year form Bray beat the world number gold medallist and silver medallist on her way to the title.

• Michael McKillop won a Gold Medal in the T37 800 meters at the World Paralympic Athletics Championships in Assen in Holland. The 16 year old from Belfast, who races in the T37 category for Cerebral Palsy athletes, enjoyed an amazing championship, breaking the World Record in the 800 meters with a time of 2.02.13 and winning the silver medal in the 1500 meters.

• John McCarthy won a bronze medal in the F32 Club throw at the Wold Championships in Assen. The 32-year-old Cork man was a medallist at the Paralympic Games in Athens which has him at Contracted category under the Carding Scheme.

• Garrett Culliton from Laois won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Assen in the F 52 Discus.

• Lisa Callaghan from Co Meath won a silver medal in Assen in the F37 Javelin. The 23 year old is still the world record holder in the event.

Recognition for Exceeded Agreed Performance Targets

• Brendan Maloney and Neil Fleming raced in the K2 Flatwater Canoeing class at the World Championships in Budapest. Their 11th place finish qualifies them for  Performance Incentive Payment in the International category.

• Darren O’Neill from the Paulstown club in Kilkenny won the gold medal at the multi-nation tournaments in the Czech Republic in the Middleweight 75 kg division following his quarterfinal placing at the European Championships in Plovdiv in July. 

• Gavin Noble, Triathlon, qualifies for an award for his 3rd place finish at the Continental Premium Cup.

• Orla Barry from Cork followed up her World Junior Championship win in Santry in July with a 4th place finish at the World Senior Championships in Assen in September. Her throw of was a new European record for the 17-year-old student.

• Tim Goodbody from Wicklow qualified for a Performance Incentive Payment under the Developmental category for his finish in the Finn World Cup in Croatia.

• Russell and Matt Mc Govern from Co Down qualify for an award international level based on their finish in the 49er World Championship.

High Performance Equipment Requirements 2006 – 2007

NGB  Equipment Cost
Irish Amateur Boxing Association €109,100
Irish Canoe Union €56,146
Cycling Ireland €111,600
Irish Hockey Association €23,800
Irish Rowing Union €163,566
Irish Sailing Association €255,900
Paralympic Council of Ireland €96,825
Irish Clay Pigeon Shooting Association €24,700
Total Equipment Request €841,637