4th October 2011
I thank the Minister of State for his earlier intervention and for his replies. I think Senators would echo what he has said. I also thank him for his recognition of the European Year of the Volunteer, which is very important. My colleagues have shared their sporting achievements. My best sporting achievement is to be standing here beside Senator Coghlan. Standing in his glow is the closest I have ever been to big sporting success.
I have two questions for the Minister of State. Success in Irish sports has proven to be of major benefit to the Irish economy, the well-being of our nation and increasing participation at local and high performance levels. With ten months remaining to the London Olympic Games how hopeful are we of retaining funding for sports in Ireland? The Olympic Torch will be coming to Ireland. Are there any plans in place to involve the public and volunteers on in its journey from Belfast to Dublin?
The local sports partnerships-Irish Sports Council-An Post cycling series appears to have been highly successful. Would the Minister of State agree it has had a serious impact in terms of participation and economic benefit to local communities?