O’Rourke and Ó Lionáird unhappy with level of funding

Derval O'Rourke pictured competing in the London 2012 Olympics. Picture: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Derval O’Rourke and Ciarán Ó Lionáird have expressed disappointment at the level of funding they are set to receive in 2014.

The pair were yesterday each allocated €12,000 in the International Carding Scheme announced by the Irish Sports Council.

Previously the ISC decided on the levels of funding across the board. However this year, for the first time, Athletics Ireland, Swim Ireland and the Irish Sailing Association took charge of the scheme for their competitors.

Competitors were categorised into Podium (€40,000), World-Class (€20,000) and International (€12,000) for the three main levels of funding.

Race walker Robert Heffernan was the only athlete on Podium funding, having won the 50km at the world championships in Moscow last year.

“The selection panel is confident we have delivered fair and equitable carding selections with robust criteria which will support targeted athletes in order to deliver more medals on the world stage over the next three years,” said High Performance Director Kevin Ankrom who oversaw their funding breakdown alongside Chris Jones and Jacqui Freyne.

However, O’Rourke begs to differ with Ankrom’s assertions.

“I’m disappointed that European indoor medals are not considered of value to Athletics Ireland,” said a frustrated O’Rourke.

“After winning an indoor medal and then dealing with a serious injury, I would have hoped for more support to help me get back. “All previous European indoor medals were valued at €20,000.”

“I’m just thankful that my coaches (Sean and Terrie Cahill) who coach me on a volunteer basis still have huge faith in my ability and stand by me”.

Ó Lionáird took to Twitter to express his annoyance: “Despite a Euro indoor medal and fastest indoor 1500 in Europe in 2013, I’ve been cut by 40pc in @irishathletics funding. No words really. You wonder why kids in Ireland don’t want to do athletics? Medal and you’re cut. What does that tell young dreamers? Terrible message. No time for questioning myself, funding etc aside there’s a tempo to be done this am. The path to Rio was never going to be smooth. Onward.”

€1.6m will be invested in 85 athletes from 15 sports providing direct financial assistance to Ireland’s most talented players and athletes.

Boxing has been one of the big winners, with Katie Taylor, Joe Ward, Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes and Jason Quigley all receiving the €40,000 Podium maximum while Cycling Ireland’s Colin Lynch, Martyn Irvine and Mark Rohan are also in the top category.

Kieran Mulvey, chairman of the Irish Sports Council said: “I want to commend every athlete who has qualified for funding in 2014, they have earned the support through exceptional performances. The council remains committed to direct athlete support as an important element of the overall investment strategy for high performance sport”.

John Treacy, chief executive of the Sports Council, also welcomed the new funding system. He said: “The council is very pleased with the process of transition of the Carding Scheme into the three sports. It opens the way for more sports to take over the carding in 2015.”

International Carding Scheme: Where the money goes

ATHLETICS: Robert Hefffernan, (Podium), €40,000; Fionnuala Britton, (World Class), €20,000; Ciarán Ó Lionáird, (International), €12,000; Derval O’Rourke, (International), €12,000; Jessie Barr, (International), €12,000; Brian Gregan, (International), €12,000; Laura Reynolds, (International), €12,000; Brendan Boyce, (International), €12,000; Mark English, (International), €12,000; Paul Robinson, (International), €12,000; Rose-Anne Galligan, (International) €12,000.

BADMINTON: Chloe Magee, (International), €12,000; Sam Magee, (International), €12,000; Scott Evans, (International), €12,000.

BOXING: Katie Taylor, (Podium), €40,000; Joe Ward, (Podium), €40,000; Michael Conlan, (Podium), €40,000; Paddy Barnes, (Podium), €40,000; Jason Quigley, (Podium), €40,000; David Oliver Joyce, (International), €12,000; George Bates, (International), €12,000; Dean Gardiner, (International), €12,000; Sean McComb, (International), €12,000; Darren O’Neill, (International), €12,000; Kurt Walker, (International), €12,000; Gary Cully, (International), €12,000; Hughie Myers, (International), €12,000; Christina Desmond, (International), €12,000.

CANOE: Andrzej Jezierski, (World Class), €20,000; Barry Watkins, (World Class), €20,000; Ciaran Heurteau, (International), €12,000; Michael Fitzsimon, (International), €12,000; Patrick O’Leary, (International), €12,000; Hannah Craig, (International), €6,000.

CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING: Derek Burnett, (Podium), €20,000.

CYCLING: Colin Lynch, (Podium), €40,000; Martyn Irvine, (Podium), €40,000; Mark Rohan, (Podium), €40,000; Katie-George Dunlevy, (World Class), €20,000; Caroline Ryan, (World Class), €20,000; James Brown, (International), €12,000; Ryan Mullen, (International), €12,000; Eoin Mullen, (International), €12,000; Enda Smyth, (International), €12,000.

JUDO: Lisa Kearney, (International), €12,000; Caoimhin Thompson, (International), €12,000; Eoin Fleming, (International), €12,000.

PARALYMPIC (ATHLETICS): Michael McKillop, (Podium), €40,000; Jason Smyth, (Podium), €40,000; Orla Barry, (Podium), €40,000; Catherine O’Neill, (International), €12,000; Heather Jameson, (International), €12,000; Deirdre Mongan, (International), €12,000; Nadine Lattimore, (International), €12,000; John McCarthy, (International), €12,000.

PARALYMPIC (SWIMMING): Ellen Keane, (Podium), €40,000; Darragh McDonald, (Podium), €40,000; Laurence McGivern, (Podium), €40,000; James Scully, (Podium), €40,000.

PENTATHLON: Natalya Coyle, (World Class), €20,000; Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe, (International), €12,000.

ROWING: Sanita Puspure, (World Class), €20,000; Claire Lambe, (International), €12,000; Paul O’Donovan, (International), €12,000; Leonora Kennedy, (International), €12,000; Monika Dukarska, (International), €12,000.

SAILING: Annalise Murphy, (Podium), €40,000; Ryan Seaton, (World Class), €20,000; Matthew McGovern, (World Class), €20,000; James Espey, (International), €12,000; John Twomey, (International), €12,000; Ian Costelloe, (International), €12,000).

SWIMMING: Fiona Doyle, (World Class), €20,000; Brendan Hyland, (International), €12,000; Chris Bryan, (International), €12,000; Andrew Meegan, (International), €12,000; Barry Murphy, (International), €12,000; Sycerika McMahon, (International), €12,000.

TABLE TENNIS (Para): Rena McCarron Rooney, (International), €9,000; Philip Quinlan, (International), €9,000.

TRIATHLON: Aileen Reid, (Podium), €40,000; Bryan Keane, (International), €12,000; Ben Shaw , (International), €12,000.


Lifestyle

Not all trends are created equal. Some are exciting – like first-date butterflies; others are comforting – like ice-cream and Golden Girls reruns.Trend of the Week: Floral free for all

Veterinary medicine is a demanding career, leading to mental health problems for some vets.Elephant in the clinic: Helpline offers support to vets with mental health difficulties

Pearl Lowe turns 50 in April – and she’s got a lot to celebrate. TA look into the reinvention of Pearl Lowe

Bonnie Ryan couldn’t be happier.On a roll: Why Bonnie Ryan couldn't be happier

More From The Irish Examiner