ROWING Ireland deserves a much larger injection of Government funding than it’s currently receiving, Cork South West Independent TD Michael Collins said this week.
Deputy Collins was speaking after Minister Shane Ross’ announcement of €1.75m for high performance sports – to help athletes’ preparations ahead of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
While Hockey Ireland received a boost of €500,000 and Horse Sport Ireland and the Olympic Council of Ireland both received €175,000 each, Rowing Ireland only received an additional €40,000, despite the unprecedented success of Irish rowers on the world stage in recent years.
Skibbereen Rowing Club has been to the forefront of this golden age of Irish rowing with Gary and Paul O’Donovan, Shane O’Driscoll, Mark O’Donovan and Denise Walsh all medalling on the international stage in 2017, while Olympians Gary and Paul have also won World Cup gold and European silver this year.
Rowing Ireland will also receive €90,000 in addtional capital funding for high-performance equipment, but to put that into perspective, a new lightweight double boat can cost €30,000, so that’s the equivalent of three new boats despite the team growing larger – eight different boats will compete at next month’s world senior championships.