Sport Ireland Carding 2018 - 2020

The Sport Ireland International Carding Scheme is a central part of the high performance system in Ireland. Sport Ireland are the Irish sports council established by the Irish Government tasked with promoting and developing sport at all levels in the country including at performance, national and international level.

 Swim Ireland manage and administer the athlete carding scheme which supports selected athletes to deliver on Swim Ireland's performance vision and goals. The scheme is a selection process whereby athletes must achieve performance criteria laid out within a Selection Policy to be considered for membership to the programme.

Carding in 2019 was awarded to 7 swimmers and 3 divers. 

You can find the Sport Ireland International Carding Scheme criteria for 2018-2020 here.

Irish Eligibility for Swimming & Diving - September 2019

As the National Governing Body for swimming, diving and water polo (and associated aquatic sports) in Ireland (including Northern Ireland), Swim Ireland’s policy and their associated rules as to who is eligible to:

a) Compete in an Irish National Championships and claim an Irish National medal in swimming and/or diving;
b) Claim an Irish Junior or Senior Record in swimming and/or diving;
c) Represent Ireland in an international competition in swimming and/or diving

are all aligned to two key sets of rules and/or conditions:                                                                            


The ‘Swim Ireland Rule Book for Clubs, Members & Affiliates’ was approved by the Board of Swim Ireland in September 2018. Within this, the rules clearly state who is and who is not eligible to claim and/or benefit from points a – c listed above and this Rule Book parallels the rules and requirements of both FINA and the Irish Government in this sense. Swim Ireland National Championships and Competitions may adopt additional meet conditions which do not contravene the Swim Ireland Rule Book but add to or embellish these rules

The Swim Ireland Performance department do not and will not actively recruit athletes from outside of the island of Ireland (swimming and diving) who may be eligible to represent Ireland. However, when such an athlete contacts Swim Ireland of their own volition, the Performance department do provide guidance to such persons in terms of:

  • Whether they are a citizen of Ireland or whether they have the right to apply to be a citizen of Ireland. To be a citizen of Ireland, such a person must be able to state and prove one of the following:

     i)  That they were born on the island of Ireland, or
     ii) That one or both of their parents were born on the island of Ireland, or
     iii)That one or both of their grandparents were born on the island of Ireland, or
     iv)That they can claim citizenship through naturalisation

  • Whether they hold a current Irish passport or whether they have the right to apply for an Irish passport
  • Whether they are registered with an Irish swimming club
  • Whether they are eligible to compete in Irish Regional or National domestic competitions and which competitions are mandatory for potential selection to the National Squad and/or a National Team
  • And, as such, whether they are therefore eligible to represent the nation of Ireland. In respect to international representation, an athlete must hold an Irish passport at the point that entries are made to the competition’s organising body


Only athletes who have previously represented another nation and/or athletes who wish to apply for citizenship via naturalisation must prove that they have lived on the island of Ireland for the 12 months preceding an event where they seek to represent Ireland.


Swim Ireland do not prejudice Irish eligibility in regards to any athlete based on their gender, disability/impairment, marital status, political and/or religious belief/activity, sexual orientation, ethnicity and/or gender identity and follow the very same principle in not prejudicing Irish eligibility in regards to any athlete based on their place of residence, place of birth and/or accent.


Therefore, if an athlete meets the above requirement and achieves the relevant standards to represent Ireland, or claim an Irish National medal or claim an Irish Record (Swim Ireland Rules 7.2 – 7.6) and are willing to adhere to our ethos, then they will be welcome to do so


Related Documents

Swim Ireland Eligibity Policy 

FINA Sport Nationality Transfer Requirements 

FINA “Sport Nationality” Memorandum

Eligibility FAQ

I was not born in Ireland but one or both of my parents were. Can automatically represent Ireland?

No. Athletes will still have to satisfy FINA rulings before they are eligible to compete.

I am a diver, not a swimmer. Do the same rules apply to me?

Yes, the eligibilty rules apply to all aquatic disciplines.

I've previously represented another country or National Federation. Can I still represent Ireland?

FINA rules dictate that athletes may only declare for one Federation. Athletes that have represented another Country or National Federation must satisfy FINA rules before declaring for Ireland.

Where can I get more information?

For further information please contact the Swim Ireland Performance Department by email at or by phone at +353-1-6251127. Additional information is also available on the FINA website,

For more information, please contact

Niamh McDonnell

Niamh McDonnell

Performance Manager

+353 86 775 0775