Minister for Sport Shane Ross plays down potential for "punitive measures" regarding gender quotas

The Minister confirmed that he had a meeting with the representatives from almost 50 sporting organisations

Minister for Sport Shane Ross plays down potential for "punitive measures" regarding gender quotas

Sport Minister Shane Ross speaking at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin | Image: Rollingnews.ie

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross TD has stated that "punitive measures" will not be helpful in the move to increase the representation of women on the boards of sporting organisations in Ireland.

The Minister confirmed that he had a meeting with the representatives from almost 50 sporting organisations on Friday.

Minister Ross said he had "agreed to set up a Sports Leadership Group as an important way to continue an open dialogue with the sector".

"I am delighted with the response from NGBs today who suggested several ways of increasing the representation of women in leadership roles in sport. There was a general consensus at the meeting that punitive measures would not assist us in achieving this goal. I look forward to further engagement," he said after the meeting.

The potential for the imposition for budgets cuts for sports groups if they did not meet a minimum 30% female representation on their boards was raised by Minister of State for Sport Patrick O'Donovan on Monday.

"This is a challenge for sporting organisations. I hope they use this as an opportunity to comply, we are giving them plenty of time to comply," Minister O'Donovan had said.

"The decision to introduce gender quotes in politics - that was seen as a success. We would much prefer if we did not need quotas. I would prefer a situation where we didn’t need to do this."

From 2019, sporting bodies would have faced the cuts were they to fail to meet the quota as outlined.