Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon has said he is privileged to have been appointed by An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar as the party’s spokesperson for Tourism and Sport.
Deputy Dillon, who also serves as Secretary of the Parliamentary Party, said he is looking forward to working on these two areas that are of extreme importance to him.
Dillon said: "It is an honour and a privilege to be appointed by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar as Fine Gael Spokesperson for Tourism and Sport.
"These are two areas in which I have always had a strong interest. Tourism is one of Ireland’s most important economic sectors and its significance as a source of employment and regional development cannot be understated.
"Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on tourism and the focus now must be on supporting the sector through the pandemic period, restoring jobs and continuing to promote staycations, subject to public health advice.
"Prior to entering politics, I enjoyed captaining and playing senior inter county football with Mayo GAA. I know first-hand the challenges that high performance amateur, professional and elite athletes face across all sporting codes.
"Needless to say, sport has played a huge part in my life. I understand its importance at community and grassroots level and how sport impacts so many peoples’ lives across all age brackets.
"The importance of sport and physical activity has taken on a renewed importance for people of all abilities during the pandemic, where running, cycling, walking, and swimming became even more popular.
"There is an opportunity to build upon this to ensure Government interventions in sport go hand in hand with efforts to improve public health and wellbeing.
"Once again I would like to thank An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar for this opportunity and look forward to working with Government colleagues on these crucial areas."