Government providing €15m in funding for GAA championships

The Government has announced that it will be providing €15 million in funding towards the staging of the 2020 GAA, LGFA, and Camogie Championships, which are due to get under way in late October.

A statement from the Government on Friday said the viability of the men's and women’s Gaelic games championships had been threatened by the lack of ticketing income arising from public health restrictions on people attending games.

After engaging with the GAA, LGFA and the Camogie Association in regard to their costs and lost ticket income, the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin, and the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport, Jack Chambers, agreed with Minister Michael McGrath to put in place funding support of €15m.

The funding will be managed by Sport Ireland who will engage with the three associations in regard to its distribution.

"This has been a challenging year for all sports and I have heard first-hand the impact the loss of ticketing and matchday revenue has had on the Gaelic games associations," said Minister Catherine Martin.

"It is important to recognise that the reduction in ticketing revenue is not confined to men’s sport. We are immensely proud of the record-breaking attendances at recent women’s All-Ireland Finals in ladies Gaelic football and camogie.

"Regrettably, 2020 will not see the finals played off in front of huge crowds at Croke Park, but work is underway to provide for a safe return of spectators at national sporting events."

Minister of State Jack Chambers added: "The football, hurling and camogie championships have been a vital component of the Irish sporting calendar for generations. It will be a different championship this year – with finals played in December – but the funding announced today will help to address the financial impact of COVID-19."

Inter-county GAA fixtures resume in October, with remaining fixtures in the Allianz League taking place ahead of the start of a truncated schedule of games in this year's senior championships.

The All Ireland senior hurling and senior football finals are currently scheduled for Sunday, December 13, and Saturday, December 19, respectively.

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