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Sandra Mailer/INPHO

€1.5 million announced by Ross is new 'windfall' funding

Questions had been asked about where the funding had come from.

THE €1.5 MILLION in sports funding that was announced by Sports Minister Shane Ross on Monday is new funding that will be added to his department’s budget.

Ross made the announcement in front of the Irish women’s hockey team as they returned yesterday from the Women’s Hockey World Cup, where they were runners-up.

Questions had been raised about the nature of the funding, but the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has confirmed to that the funding is an addition to its 2018 budget, as opposed to being previously announced money.

It is understood the money has become available due to a “windfall” in Ross’s department. TV3 journalist Gavan Reilly reports that the money is the result of a €12 million payment to the department from the Irish Aviation Authority, which is being split evenly between the Department of Transport and all other departments.

The Minister said that in respect to what the Irish hockey team has done, “and in particular because of the timing of what you’ve done”, the government has decided to give an extra €1.5 million for Olympic and world champion preparation.

He said that hockey “will enjoy a significant share of that particular funding”.

The allocation of the money will be left to Sport Ireland, but its purpose is to assist those teams who are preparing for world championships. It is also understood that Ross will lobby for the €1.5 million to be kept as part of his budget for 2019, when it can be used to assist Irish organisations preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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