Sport has never been so well represented in Government as it is this morning following Leo Varadkar’s election as Taoiseach yesterday and naming of his Cabinet last night.
The two highest offices in the Government those of Taoiseach and Minister for Finance are now held by the two most recent Ministers with responsibility for sport as part of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
Michael Ring, predecessor of Patrick O’Donovan as minister of State for Sport has also been elevated to a senior cabinet position as Minister for Community and Rural Affairs.
All three have an understanding of how sport and Government are intertwined and as a result of that understanding will at least be disposed towards effective arguments for a greater symbiotic relationship between the two.
Donoghue is a regular supporter and parent at Na Fianna GAA club where he is a close contact of Cormac O’Donnchú and Georgina Carraher Founders of Sport for Business member Experience gaelic Games.
Varadkar is a participant in running and triathlon events and brings an energy of youth to the office that bodes well. He was a strong supporter of the park Run initiative as Minister for Health and a strong advocate of the preventative benefits of sport for a healthy nation.
Ring was a main driver of the Sports Capital Grants programme that has delivered to date over €100 million of Government funding towards sporting infrastructure projects at national and local level.
There is no blank cheque for sport as a result of their new positions of strength but there is an understanding beyond the headlines of why sport matters and that makes today a good day.
Shane Ross remains as Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport after last night’s Government appointments. We must await news, likely to be next week, on the appointment of Junior Ministers where Patrick O’Donovan has been a highly engaged and effective Minister of State for Sport.
Find out more about our next major event looking at the impact of Sport for Social Good in September 2017.
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