ALLEGATIONS raised in the Dáil before the summer recess over how Horse Sport Ireland allocates some of its funding met with a brief ministerial response.
Carlow-Kilkenny Deputy John McGuinness (FF) tabled a Dáil question in June asking the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine “if his attention has been drawn to the written complaints being made to Horse Sport Ireland in relation to the allocation of funding to various events and projects in the wider horse industry; if he has sought a report from the organisation and the board in relation to all of the issues raised; and if he will make a statement on the matter”.
In response, Minister Charlie McConalogue TD (FF) said: “Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) is the national governing body for equestrian sport in Ireland and has 23 affiliate organisations. HSI receives funding from my Department and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media (through Sport Ireland). HSI is responsible for devising and implementing strategies for the development, promotion and marketing of an internationally competitive Irish sport horse industry.
“The Board and recently appointed management of HSI are responsible for implementing the various programmes funded by my Department and Sport Ireland. Specific programmes funded by my Department are scrutinised by officials of my Department to ensure that the allocated funding is spent in support of such programmes. The allocation of funding regarding HSI sporting activities is a matter for the Sports Council. However, with 23 affiliate organisations, it is recognised that there are competing interests for funding within HSI and it is a matter for the Board of HSI to make decisions regarding the allocation of funding to the programmes within their remit.”