Saturday, 16th December 2017
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Fianna Fáil TD Mary Butler has said that today’s announcement of funding to Irish athletes competing at the World Dwarf Games this month in Guelph, Ontaria Canada is recognition of the need to treat all athletes wearing the green jersey equally and with respect.

“I am delighted that the Department of Sports and the Irish Sports Council have allocated €9,000 to the nine athletes heading off to represent Ireland at the World Dwarf Games.

“Since their establishing in 2012, the Irish Dwarf Sports Association has been seeking recognition and support from the Irish authorities for their athletes, and today’s decision is a milestone for Dwarf athletes in this country.

“Last month, I was happy to facilitate meetings with some of the athletes and representatives from the Irish Dwarf Sports Association, Minister Griffin and John Treacy from the Irish Sports Council.

“The point was made and repeated by all that athletes representing their country should not have to shake buckets outside shopping centres to fund their endeavours a week before the competition.

“All athletes representing their country, irrespective of their disability, need to be treated with respect and dignity, and today’s funding announcement will, I believe, be a turning point in how we support athletes from minority sports in this country.

“Now that their financial concerns have been addressed, I am thrilled that our nine athletes can now focus on their most important task – representing their country with distinction and hopefully coming home with medals around their necks,” concluded Butler.

The World Dwarf Games will take place from 5-12 August at the University of Guelph, Ontaria

Nine Irish athletes will travel – Hayley Fitzsimons (Waterford), Sinead Keon (Galway), Yvonne McCluskey (Dublin), Dylan Prenderville (Limerick), Thomas McCauge (Louth) and Eddie Keenan (Meath)

At the 2013 Games, Irish athletes returned home with 16 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals

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