Here's Every Mention of Sport In General Election Manifestos

Here's Every Mention of Sport In General Election Manifestos
By John Dodge
Share this article

You're probably aware that this Friday Irish people will vote in a general election to decide who'll run the country from 2016. We looked through each of the main party's (ie the 8 parties that poll at 2% or more in the widely used opinion polls). We present them without bias but in order of popularity this poll in the Irish Times.  The text below are all taken from the party manifestos as published on their websites.

Fine Gael

Under Agriculture and Food;

Horse and Greyhound Sectors: Fine Gael has shown a determination to prioritise the Horse and Greyhound sectors, by significantly increasing funding over the last 5 years. We see these sectors as fundamentally important to rural Ireland and will continue to prioritise strategic investment, support and modernisation in this area. Committing to projects like the new Curragh racecourse is a sign of things to come in terms of capital investment in the sector.

In the greyhound sector, we have encouraged strategic reform and growth, and increased prize money by 25%. We will prioritise further reform, through the implementation of the Indecon Report recommendations and the introduction of new governance legislation. Fine Gael recognises the contribution of the sport horse industry and will work with stakeholders to implement its 10-year strategy, which is designed to improve quality through improved breeding, education and training as well as welfare, marketing and sales expertise. We will explore new funding models for the sport horse sector, to provide the kind of finance needed to develop and maintain Ireland’s position as a world leader in the breeding and training of sport horses.

Under Education;

Physical Education: We support the introduction of more PE in primary schools and its introduction as a Leaving Cert subject. We will look at various ways in which organisations with experience in children’s sports and fitness might provide schools with support.

Under Tourism;


Rugby World Cup 2023: Fine Gael will strongly support Ireland’s efforts to host the 2023 Men’s Rugby World Cup and provide the assistance needed to produce a successful bid.


Conscious of the significant social and health benefits that participation in sport delivers, Fine Gael is committed to supporting sporting organisations in their efforts to increase sporting participation across the country.

Making improvements in the area will be a key factor in tackling the significant obesity challenge that we will face in the future if present trends continue. A healthy Ireland will improve everyone’s physical and mental well-being, as well as enhancing the sustainability of future public health costs.


Sports Capital Programme: Building on the €130m investment in sports capital projects since 2011, Fine Gael will aim to allocate sports capital grants on an annualised basis. By awarding sports capital grants on an annual basis, sports clubs and voluntary and community organisations will be able to better develop their plans and apply for such funding at the most appropriate time, rather than potentially submitting applications before they are ready, due to a fear that a subsequent round of funding might not materialise.

Sport for All: Building on the proposals contained in the National Physical Activity Plan, Fine Gael will launch a programme aimed at encouraging all citizens to participate in sporting activities on a weekly basis. A fund will be established that could be accessed by voluntary organisations and sporting bodies who can demonstrate that they can achieve clear objectives in this area.

Particular preference will be given to organisations who can demonstrate that their programmes will increase participation amongst women and in disadvantaged communities.


National Sports Policy: We will publish a National Sports Policy, early in the next Dáil term, to support sport across communities and across Irish society.

Sports Campus: We will continue to invest in the National Sports Campus with a view to increasing the use of the facilities by the general public, and provide world-class support to high-performance athletes. In a second term of government, we will open the National Indoor Arena and the National Velodrome and Badminton Centre.

Concussion in Sport: Fine Gael is committed to keeping people healthy through sport and safe in sport. We will work with sporting bodies and medical professionals to develop robust concussionmanagement policies for every sport and to consider appropriate measures to ensure compliance.


Fianna Fail

Under "Education";

Expand the PE programme at primary and secondary school level at a cost of €4.8m.

Under "Tackle crime & develop community services"


Directly support local community and sports groups: This is a key area in improving the quality of life for local residents. Local sports and cultural clubs and groups are the backbone of their areas and bring out the best of volunteerism across the country. The government can help these groups and give greater control to local people through a series of measures.

We will:

  • Revamp the development levy system. Major construction project levies should integrate a contribution to locals sports clubs, such as land or monetary contributions. Partnerships between local clubs, community council and the Local Authority should be an integral part of the public contribution to development plans.
  • Undertake a full audit of NAMA properties to identify suitable land for use by local sports and community groups. Local authorities should take the lead in developing plans for their procurement and adequate development. This work should be co-ordinated with the NAMA transfer unit in each Local Authority.
  • Implement a new tax on sugar sweetened drinks which will be available for spending on sport and physical activity projects in communities across the country.

Under "Secure home ownership & tackle homelessness"


Tackle loneliness amongst older people: Amend the Sports Capital Grants system to allow funding of Community Centres which will help facilitate elderly social groups.

[There is no specfic section on sport -]

Sinn Fein

Under Communities

We will invest €42 million in sport at community level


[There is no specfic section on sport -]


Under Tourism

Ireland has succeeded in attracting major international sporting events such as the Giro D’ltalia and the Women’s Rugby World Cup. We will continue to support other bids, including the 2023 Men’s Rugby World Cup. We will also establish a specific sports bidding entity to facilitate bidding for events across all sporting organisations in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and Sport Ireland. We will put a comprehensive sports tourism policy at the heart of the new national sports policy


Sport has hugely positive benefits for individuals and society as a whole. Labour in government has funded three Sports Capital Programmes following years of neglect by the previous administration. This has ensured over €110 million in funding for thousands of local clubs around the country. We have worked to make the programme more accessible to clubs and organisations including those without a clubhouse or land.

Community sports clubs have also had vital funds freed up through a partial rates exemption under the Valuation Act that we introduced in 2015.

We have also established Sport Ireland to enhance the administration of sport. We will continue to boost sport in local communities and at grassroots level through the Sports Capital Programme, which will have a dedicated stream for joint applications from sports clubs and schools.

We want to build an even more inclusive sports culture and will continue to invest in Special Olympics Ireland, and to increase participation, particularly participation of women and girls in sport and in sport governing bodies. As part of this we will prioritise the implementation of the new National Physical Activity Plan. This will encourage a greater number of people to become more physically active.

Irish sportsmen and women have always punched above their weight at international level and Labour has ensured funding to help sporting organisations with their preparation for the Rio Olympics this year. We will also fund further world class facilities at the National Indoor Arena at the National Sports Campus. Three main centres for athletics, training and gymnastics within the Arena are set to be completed in 2016

We will ensure the Sports Capital Fund gives priority to joint proposals from local sports clubs and schools or youth organizations. Labour is committed to the full implementation of the National Youth Strategy 2015-2020. This strategy outlines the Government’s objectives to ensure young people have sufficient opportunities to be healthy and active, get the most out of formal learning, are able to feel safe and economically secure, and that they can feel connected, respected and empowered.

Anti Austerity Alliance - People Before Profit

[There is no mention of sport in the manifesto -]

Social Democrats

[There is no mention of sport in the manifesto -]

Green Party

Under Tourism

Promote youth and child friendly water sports to encourage activity and awareness of our maritime heritage.

Under Education

Invest in lifelong teacher training. At the primary level, this will focus on promoting mental resilience, scientific observation and enquiry, as well as outdoor and sports activities. At secondary level, it will additionally focus on developing critical thinking skills


Under "Tourism and Hospitality"

6.3 Hosting major sporting, cultural and business events Major international events can be leveraged to raise international visibility of Ireland as a destination of choice, and therefore they have the potential to increase visitor numbers significantly. In collaboration with public and private partnerships, strategies need to be developed to attract large-scale events from bid stage and to help to successfully stage major events.

Under "Agriculture and Agribusiness"

7.9 Horse and Greyhound Racing Tens of thousands of jobs are maintained in the Greyhound and Horse Racing sectors and these sports continue to fly the flag for Ireland on the international stage. RENUA Ireland recognises the key role of these industries in the economic life of rural communities.

We believe that a properly and sustainably funded Horse and Greyhound Fund is crucial to the long term viability of both sectors. We believe that the 1% betting levy is a hopelessly inadequate basis for the fund. We are committed to increasing the levy to 3% of turnover and ringfencing it to ensure the long term future of these job rich industries. We believe the thoroughbred industry continues to have enormous potential for growth, with the right vision and a strategy to guide it.

RENUA Ireland proposes an independent, comprehensive review of the overall contribution and benefits of the 27 thoroughbred industry to our economy, the current challenges faced and the appropriate solutions. This report will be independently commissioned by the Department of Agriculture. We believe a senior level Department unit should be created to facilitate and drive government policy on the sector. 7.10 The Sport Horse Industry RENUA Ireland acknowledges that this once thriving sector has been allowed to decline in recent decades due to a lack of vision and lack of support for sport horse producers.

We believe that all responsibility for the sport horse sector should return to the Department of Agriculture. A new national breeding programme must be developed to ensure that we dramatically improve the quality of our stock, particularly for the show jumping, eventing and dressage sectors.

In order to ensure the best quality horses are available for Irish riders to compete at the top international level, we propose a temporary four year tax incentive scheme to attract investment in the sector, with a clear goal of garnering medals at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, thus showcasing Irish equestrian sport and breeding at the very highest level.

NB The Independent Alliance did not publish a manifesto.


In addition to the the above 3 parties mentioned alcohol advertising in their manifesto. They read:

  • FG - We will prohibit alcohol sponsorship at events which are organised for children, and which involve driving or racing cars
  • FF -  Phase out alcohol companies’ sponsorship of sporting events.
  • GP - We support... a ban on advertising of alcohol on television and radio and in association with sporting events.


Once again, we're not trying to sway your vote one way or the other. We're merely posting for information.

See Also: John Giles Has Nailed His Colours To The Mast In The Irish General Election

Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now!

Share this article

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by