Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
1064. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount committed to an association (details supplied) following recent events in the organisation; if he is satisfied that this represents good value for the taxpayer; his plans to reform the organisation in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3300/20]
On 30th January the Government approved an agreement to participate in a joint funding package for the association mentioned by the Deputy, subject to certain conditions. The agreement involves the restoration of Sport Ireland funding to the association of €2.9 million and the allocation of an additional €2.9 million for football development for the period 2020 to 2023, to bring the total funding to €5.8 million per annum for the period 2020 to 2023.
The funding package also includes the provision of a grant in the sum of €7.6338 million to the company which owns and operates the Aviva Stadium, in recognition of the importance of the continued operation of the stadium. The grant is to be paid in three instalments of €2.5446 million, directly to the company, in each of the years 2020, 2021 and 2022 towards the licence fee payable to the company. The grant will be recouped from 2024 onwards.
My officials are currently finalising the precise terms for the funding agreement, which will be set out in relevant legal documents.
The funding package approved by the Government and the conditions that apply to that funding are set out in a Memorandum of Understanding between my Department and the association. The Memorandum of Understanding is published on my Department's website and is available at the following link: .
This funding will ensure that the people involved in the sport – players, coaches, officials, volunteers and supporters – can focus once again on developing their sport, which has a hugely positive influence on our communities.
The Memorandum for Government, along with the Report of the Governance Review Group published in June 2019, outline a range of reforms relating to corporate governance and financial controls which the organisation is required to implement. Some important governance reforms have already taken place, most notably the appointment of a new Independent Chairman and Independent Directors to the Board of the organisation. In our discussions with the new Chairman, Minister of State Brendan Griffin and I have emphasised the need for a culture change in the association and to implement structural reforms to safeguard the changes made so far.