Over the years, sporting organisations and volunteers have formed the backbone of Sport in Ireland. We must build on this legacy to enrich our lives both as active participants and as a country which values vibrant, local community identity and the achievements of our sporting heroes.

Sport and recreation also have other benefits for the nation both economic in terms of sports tourism, employment opportunities through growth in the sector, and social in terms of better physical and mental health and well being.

Sport also has a special part to play in combating the problems of drug abuse, crime and social exclusion, particularly among young people living in areas of social and economic disadvantage.

The development of high performance in Irish sport is another key element within overall national sports strategy. Top performances in the sporting arena, both nationally and internationally, based on a drugs-free philosophy of sport, provide positive role models as well as enhancing our sense of national achievement, and the image of Ireland overseas.

The Department's goal, therefore, is:
To increase participation and interest in sport, to improve standards of performance and to develop sports facilities at national, regional and local level, thereby contributing to healthier lifestyles and an improved overall quality of life, through a Departmental policy and resource framework in partnership with its Agencies, other Government Departments and the National Governing Bodies of Sport.


In July 2018, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Shane Ross, TD, and the Minister with responsibility for Tourism and Sport, Mr. Brendan Griffin, TD, launched the Government’s National Sports Policy 2018–2027.  The Policy was developed through an extensive public consultation process and collaboration with the sports sector and other stakeholders.


The High-Level Goals of the National Sports Policy are:

  • Increased Participation              
  • More Excellence        
  • Improved Capacity


Key targets of the National Sports Policy 2018–2027 include:

  • Overall participation in sport to rise from 43% to 50% of the population by 2027 (the equivalent of an extra 260,0000 people participating in sport)
  • More targeted high performance funding to deliver more Olympic/Paralympic medals (From the securing of 13 medals in 2016 to a target of 20 in 2028)
  • All funded sports bodies adopting the Governance Code for the Community, Voluntary and Charity (CVC) Sector.


The Policy can be found here.