Seanad debates

Wednesday, 28 February 2024

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Fintan WarfieldFintan Warfield (Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I wish to bring the attention of the House to a report on inclusion in sport that was launched yesterday morning by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport and Media. I hope Members will get a chance to read the report and the House will be able to have statements on it as soon as possible. The report is ultimately bound up in creating a better supporting environment for everyone.

As was pointed out by an audience member yesterday, inclusion in sport needs money. It needs EDI money, and not just from the dormant accounts fund, which has reduced this year compared with last year. It also needs capital money in terms of facilities. I know the Leader referred to the work by the Government that has been done in respect of gender, women in sport and facilities and that is welcome but capital and EDI money are required to fund inclusion in sport. Racism is increasing. Sport can address that issue. We are a wealthy nation but we have social challenges. Sport can do things that cannot be done in other areas. Money for diversity and integration can help in that regard. Homophobic attacks are increasing, as are attacks on LGBT people. Homophobia does not just affect LGBT people; it affects everyone. It can result in everybody moderating their own behaviour. People who are not gay can endure the most ruthless and sustained homophobia which can turn them off sport. There are many great recommendations in the report. I hope it will be a valuable resource for the Department. I refer to a piece on the visibility of women and the women's game, but also visibility of diverse and marginalised groups. My experience of visibility in sport was probably Dónal Óg Cusack coming out as gay. I was a goalkeeper, he was a goalkeeper-----


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