Tuesday, 13 July 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
As I said in my initial remarks I accept and acknowledge that it is very frustrating for the riders who had secured a place to accept the decision made by Horse Sport Ireland and how difficult that is. The role specific to national governing bodies is that they deliver and develop their sport, working with their club networks, affiliates and partners. Obviously, that involves structures and rules, selection policies and performance targets.
On the Olympic Games, the selection process is managed directly through the national governing bodies of sport, with the Olympic Federation of Ireland. That is a comprehensive selection policy developed prior to the games. Each national governing body is an independent and autonomous body responsible for their own governance, procedures, competition rules for their sport and team selection procedures. I understand that the decision of Horse Sport Ireland was appealed through their own processes, and externally appealed through the independent dispute resolution mechanism. That underpins any decision made by the relevant national governing body.
The Deputy might have specific issues, as he referenced, with how that operated. It would then be a matter for the riders themselves to present particular information to Horse Sport Ireland. Obviously there are independent mechanisms they have tried to avail of regarding their own specific appeal. As the Deputy has acknowledged, it would be inappropriate for me to intervene in any individual dispute regarding team selection or to decide who should and should not be represented specifically at the games.