Longford/Westmeath TD accuses Minister of headline grabbing tactics on 30% gender quota for sports bodies

Alan Walsh


Alan Walsh

Longford/Westmeath TD Robert Troy has accused Minister for Sport Patrick O’Donovan of engaging in headline grabbing tactics in relation to his proposed new measure requiring sports bodies to have a 30% gender quota to secure Government funding. 

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Sport, Deputy Troy  has welcomed the news that sporting organisations are set to be invited to appear before an Oireachtas Committee to discuss proposals to increase the number of women serving on boards of national sporting organisations.

Deputy Troy said the Minister for Sport Patrick O’Donovan was simply attempting to grab headlines by indicating that he wants to introduce a new measure requiring sports bodies to have a 30% gender quota to secure Government funding.

He remarked, “Sporting bodies have been left shocked by the manner in which Minister O’Donovan unveiled these proposals. There was little to no consultation with stakeholders prior to the announcement. This is unsatisfactory and accordingly I requested that sporting bodies be invited before the Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport to discuss the issue. This request has now been accepted and organisations such as the GAA, Sporting Federation of Ireland and the FAI will be invited to appear before the committee in the New Year."

Deputy Troy added, “Everyone is in agreement that we need to increase the number of women serving at the highest levels in our sporting organisations. However it’s equally important that the Minister consults with all relevant stakeholders before unveiling any major policy announcement. This is the only way that we can ensure the policy receives buy-in from all sectors, which will ultimately lead to success in achieving greater diversity in sporting governorship.

“I also have concerns that the Minister is too focused on attempting to coerce sporting organisations into achieving gender equality on their boards. I believe a greater incentive should be placed on rewarding sporting organisations which make progress in achieving gender diversity. We should not be too fixated with wanting to punish sporting bodies. Furthermore we should be looking at ways to increase diversity of expertise on the boards of all national sporting organisations.

“Ultimately any policy to increase diversity in the governance of sporting bodies needs to be accepted by stakeholders to ensure it is successful. This is why I insisted that sporting organisations be invited in to address the Oireachtas Committee so that they can give their feedback on the proposals,” concluded Deputy Troy.