Officials question sport meetings
GOVERNMENT officials questioned if it was “necessary” or “advisable” for Sports Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin to meet with representatives of leading sports bodies prior to drawing up a new national sports policy document.
The National Sports Policy 2018-2027 sets out a blueprint towards achieving international sporting success and increasing participation.
It was launched last July after an extensive consultation process.
A month before the launch, the Olympic Council of Ireland and other major sporting bodies wrote to Ministers Ross and Griffin requesting an opportunity to discuss the document.
A letter signed by the chief executives of the OCI, Paralympics Ireland, the Federation of Irish Sport (representing sporting governing bodies and local sports partnerships) and Ireland Active, a not for profit whose membership consists of sports and leisure centres or clubs, asked to “send out a clear message about the importance of sport”.
They said the value of sport is often overlooked and requested an opportunity to discuss the document because it “highlights the positive health, social and financial impacts”.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show advisers to Mr Ross were concerned the meeting may not be “necessary” or “advisable”.
They concluded Mr Ross was not “in a position to facilitate a meeting”.
A spokesman for the department said it received and studied more than 50 submissions from stakeholders, including government departments, national governing bodies of sport, local sports partnerships and private individuals prior to publishing the document.
“In addition, the department held a number of bilateral meetings with relevant government departments and other stakeholders during the drafting process in order to inform the decision making on various complex issues relating to sport, all of which contributed to the publication of the final policy document,” he added.