3 July 2024

~6 minutes read

Sport Ireland and Ministers come together with OFI to wish Team Ireland well in Paris Games

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Sport Ireland and Ministers come together with OFI to wish Team Ireland well in Paris Games

Today, as the final preparations are under way for Team Ireland at the Paris Olympic Games, Minister Catherine Martin and Minister Thomas Byrne joined Sport Ireland to wish the Olympic Federation of Ireland and the Irish team good luck ahead of their centenary Games.

Team Ireland will be completing some of their final steps on their Olympic journey at the pre-Games camp on the Sport Ireland Campus, the base of many of our high-performance athletes.

Over the past 100 years, since Ireland first competed as a nation at the Olympic Games, the country has won 38 medals, including three in Arts and Literature. Paris 2024 will see a record number of athletes competing for Ireland, with a considerable increase in opportunities to win medals and achieve top-ten placings.

Results on a global level require a significant amount of commitment, perseverance, and resilience, and they also require considerable financial support. Irish athletes are among the best in the world, and the commitment of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to invest in this very important sector is paying dividends.

With over 125 athletes travelling, this will be Ireland’s largest-ever team competing at an Olympic Games.

This year marks the highest-ever level of investment in a single year into High Performance Sport in Ireland, with €25m being provided. There has also been a substantial increase on the €59m invested in the Tokyo cycle, with more than €89m invested from 2021 to 2024, reflecting the government’s commitment to delivering long-term sustained progress in sport.

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, said: “I send each and every member of Team Ireland my very best wishes for a successful Olympics. More than anything else, I hope that their Olympic experience will be an enjoyable one that will give them cherished memories for the rest of their lives.

“I am also looking forward to the Irish sporting public getting behind Team Ireland as they seek to fulfil their sporting dreams. In qualifying for the Olympics, and representing the best of all us in Paris this summer, our athletes are an inspiration to the entire nation.

“High performance athletes are rightly renowned for their dedication, commitment and perseverance that they bring to their particular sport. There is a relentless pursuit of excellence and we have seen many recent examples of this amongst Irish sportspeople. With over 125 athletes travelling, this will be Ireland’s largest ever team competing at an Olympic Games.

“I am convinced that Team Ireland will do us proud, and we are whole-heartedly behind them every step of the way.”

Minister for Sport, Physical Education and the Gaeltacht, Thomas Byrne, said: “Team Ireland travels to Paris with overwhelming support from Irish sports fans everywhere. It is a team that has already shown immense talent during the qualification stages, and I know that there is great confidence among the team that this can be one of our most successful ever Olympic Games. Our athletes have worked incredibly hard, and I wish every member of the team my best wishes for their Olympic experience.

“As a Government, we are working to support our high-performance athletes by investing record levels of financial support in our high-performance sport system, including €25m this year and €89m over this Olympic-Paralympic cycle. Irish athletes have been delivering outstanding results on the international stage and I have every confidence that they will do themselves and Ireland proud in Paris.”

The Government, through Sport Ireland, has invested more than €40m in High Performance Programme Funding throughout the Paris Cycle (2021-2024). High Performance Coaching has continued to be a priority area for Sport Ireland in 2024, with over €1.5m ringfenced in this area to support the recruitment, retention, mentoring and training of aspiring and established high-performance coaches.

Dr Úna May, CEO of Sport Ireland, said: “The record level of investment this year demonstrates Sport Ireland’s sustained commitment to mirror the dedication of the athletes and teams who represent the nation with such distinction. While Sport Ireland’s primary high-performance focus is on the long-term development of our system, we’re confident this support, along with the services of the Sport Ireland Institute, has set Team Ireland up to produce their best and enjoy the experience in Paris.

“We’re very proud of all of our athletes. We’ve got a great mix of young and experienced talent going to Paris. Some of them will be attending their first ever Games, which is just brilliant for them. For those who are going to their last games we have a world-leading athlete career-transition programme to help them with what can sometime be a challenging transition. This programme offers athletes both a continuation of services and financial support as they navigate a new path.

“Everyone at Sport Ireland wants to wish the athletes and all the members of the support team the very best in Paris.”

Peter Sherrard, CEO of the Olympic Federation of Ireland, said: “With our largest ever Olympic team competing in France to mark our centenary year, it is a very exciting time, and an occasion that we hope will leave a lasting legacy for the large number of sports being represented on biggest international stage of all.

“This summer will be a celebration of the achievements of the athletes, the coaches, their clubs, families and communities from every part of Ireland.

“I would like to thank the Government for their investment in the high-performance system and the single team approach with Sport Ireland, our sponsor PTSB and partners who are all working together to ensure that our athletes are given the best possible preparation for a memorable, successful and enjoyable Games experience.”

In this Paris cycle there has so far been more than 300 medals won, which means we have already exceeded the medal target at major international competitions which was set at 270 in the National Sports Policy.

The significant progress made since the publication of the Sport Ireland High Performance Strategy 2021-2032 underlines Sport Ireland’s ambition and commitment to developing a strong system for Irish athletes and teams at European and World level.

Sport Ireland continues its strong partnership with the Olympic Federation of Ireland, with the Sport Ireland Institute operating as the Performance Support Delivery Partner to Team Ireland. From 2021-2024, Sport Ireland will have also invested €3,195,000 in the Olympic Federation of Ireland, which includes an allocation of €850,000 to support the costs associated with the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

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