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Sinn Féin to investigate sporting inequalities

9 August, 2007

Sinn Féin MLA Paul Maskey, a member of the Assembly Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee, has written to over 60 sporting bodies across the island of Ireland including the GAA and Ulster Rugby Union to look at inequalities facing players and the sporting organisation in terms of issues like VAT and taxation.

Mr Maskey said:

"At a recent meeting with the Ulster Rugby Union, it was pointed out to me that there are issues of unequal taxation, north and south, facing players involved in the All-Ireland Rugby squad, and also that there were differences in the benefits available on retirement for players in the two jurisdictions.

"I have also been made aware that the GAA faces unequal VAT regulations in regards to entrance fees received at sports venues in the two areas.

"I would imagine that the difficulties and inequalities experienced by all-Ireland sporting bodies are not unique to rugby or the GAA.

"I have written to over 60 sporting bodies and associations which are organised on an island-wide basis, to find out what effect the border has on their sport in general, as well as in economic terms for both the sporting body and association itself, and for the participants in the sport.

"Once I receive information on the range of issues affecting sports on the island, I intend to pursue these through the Department of Culture Arts & Leisure here in the Assembly, and also with the two Departments of Finance, north and south, with the help of my colleagues in the Irish parliament." ENDS

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