Written answers

Thursday, 17 February 2005

Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism

Review of Athens Olympics

5:00 pm

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Question 29: To ask the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism when the Athens review group will complete its report on the preparation and performance of the Irish teams at the Athens Olympic and Paralympic Games; when the report be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5318/05]

Photo of John O'DonoghueJohn O'Donoghue (Minister, Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism; Kerry South, Fianna Fail)
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In July 2004, the Irish Sports Council in conjunction with the Olympic Council of Ireland and the Paralympic Council of Ireland commissioned the Athens review to produce an objective assessment of the preparation and performance of the Irish teams at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Athens 2004. The review was to identify the strengths and weaknesses of all aspects of the programmes and structures over the course of the four year cycle leading into the Athens games with a view to making recommendations for the development of programmes for the 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A review steering group was appointed to oversee the review. The group was chaired by former Enterprise Ireland chief executive, Mr. Dan Flinter and comprised representatives from the Irish Sports Council, Olympic Council of Ireland, Paralympic Council of Ireland, Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism and a former Olympic athlete.

Wharton Consulting, a leading UK sports consultancy, was appointed in July 2004 to undertake the review. The timeframe over which the review was to be conducted was the five months from the end of July 2004 to December 2004. The current position is that Wharton Consulting presented its report to the review steering group. I understand that it is the intention of the Sports Council to publish the report in the very near future.

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