Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Sport, Kevin O’Keeffe TD, says the Minister should match his praise of the Irish Ladies Hockey team, who have reached the World Cup final, by reimbursing those that were forced to travel at their own cost.

He said, “This has been a wonderful week for Irish sport but it’s just not good enough that these talented hockey players, competing for their country abroad at such a high level, were not adequately supported.

“The Minister clearly didn’t recognise or remotely appreciate their sporting potential to provide them with any degree of funding in advance or during the tournament. It’s quite sickening then that he and his Cabinet colleagues have so shamelessly hopped on the team’s success as though they played a part.

“If anything, the Department’s failure to provide funding to this team hindered their ability to get this far and become the first Irish sporting team to reach a World Cup Final. Providing funding going forward and on the longer term but be examined.

“This is a major achievement, one that should be widely acknowledged; the least Minister Ross can do it reimburse the cost to travel as an appropriate recognition for their success in international sport.

He concluded, “On behalf of my party colleagues and I, I wish the whole team the very best of luck in the World Cup Final.”