New Government funding will help kickstart sport again in Clare, local Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has said.

Deputy Carey was speaking as the Government has announced a significant new funding package of up to €70 million to help sports across the country restart activity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Welcoming the announcement, Deputy Carey said: “This is great news for clubs and organisations in Clare who need help to get back up and running again after this enforced period of inaction. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious financial impact on the sports we all love, due to a huge loss of revenue from the cancellation of games and competitions.

“Sport of all kinds is so important to the health and wellbeing of people all across Clare as well as serving to bind our communities together.

“I am informed that as part of this new funding package, up to €40 million will be provided for the three main field sports organisations – the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU.

“There is also a Resilience Fund of up to €10 million designed to support National Governing Bodies who find themselves in need of assistance to avoid closing.

“€15 million is allocated to a Sports Club Resilience Fund, to help clubs in need of assistance to avoid closing.

“Finally, there is also a Sports Restart and Renewal Fund worth up to €5 million for clubs ineligible for the Government’s Restart Grants scheme (as they are not solely commercial trading entities), or the Government supports for the community and voluntary sector to cope with the challenge of COVID-19.

“The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport will now engage with Sport Ireland to design the new grant schemes. Sport Ireland will then announce an open invitation for applications from funded bodies for assistance under the grant scheme, with the funding to be distributed through the National Governing Bodies.”

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, added: “Today is the most important day for Sport in this country during my time in this office.  I am delighted that the Government saw fit to respond to the many loud calls for help from our sporting bodies. The scale of lost revenues, from the smallest of club fundraisers to a sold-out stadium, is breath-taking. Today’s package will go a long way to aiding the badly needed recovery.

“Despite all of the challenges, it is heartening to see that so many people have recognised the importance of staying active during the Covid-19 crisis. We are now seeing more adults than ever actively participating in sport, with huge numbers having taken up cycling, running and recreational walking.

“I welcome today’s acceleration of the Roadmap reopening – it’s great news and greatly appreciated by sports people throughout Ireland. There is a huge opportunity now to secure a lasting improvement in the health and wellbeing of our nation by engaging with children and adults who have become more active during the crisis and putting in place programmes to help them go from casual sporting activity into lifelong participation. The Sports Restart and Renewal Fund will assist sporting bodies and local sports partnerships to maximise this opportunity.”