The Olympic Federation of Ireland has said its costs will increase for Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

The Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) has warned its costs will increase for Paris 2024 when compared to Tokyo 2020, despite the Games in France being a lot closer to home, as it announced it had signed a deal for a training base in Fontainebleau.

Expenditure for the Paris cycle is expected to be around €4.7 million (£4 million/$4.9 million), a rise from the €3.3 million (£2.8 million/$3.4 million) spent around Tokyo 2020, an event heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ireland sent 116 athletes to Tokyo 2020, the biggest team in its history, and won four medals, including gold for Kellie Harrington in women's lightweight boxing and rowers Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan in the men's lightweight double sculls.

It was their best performance since Atlanta 1996. 

Ireland could have a bigger team at Paris 2024 as both the men's and women's rugby sevens sides have already qualified and there are hopes for both hockey teams.

The OFI is also aiming to maximise its close proximity to the French capital by implementing different ideas.

One plan could see €30,000 (£26,000/$31,000) spent on air conditioning in athlete accommodation, something Paris 2024 has refused to provide due to its environmental goals.

"From our point of view, our expenditure in 2024 will be €4.7 million, which will be a lot bigger than previous cycles," OFI chief executive Peter Sherrard told the Irish Times. 

"For Tokyo, our total expenditure would have been around €3.3 million.

"But there are a lot more things we're trying to do this time round, to make sure we use the opportunity with the home Games, in the promise to get it right."

Boxer Kellie Harrington celebrates winning one of Ireland's two Olympic gold medals at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
Boxer Kellie Harrington celebrates winning one of Ireland's two Olympic gold medals at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

OFI President Sarah Keane claimed a closer Games also meant different challenges.

"I think I'm personally equally terrified and totally excited about it at the same time," Keane said.

"We are going from a Games where there was nobody there, to a Games whereby we have more sponsors and partners than we ever have before.

"There is a lot of support from Government and Sport Ireland, who will want to be out there and from families, and all that is going to be really challenging.

"We have a whole list of ticketing and how we are prioritising it in order to get as many there as possible. 

"The public tickets are sold out now. 

"So I think the whole thing will be challenging in that sense.

"But the fact we have the hospitality house, the fact we have the cultural centre, the fact we have a place where families can meet and socialise, I feel that is a key point."

Fontainebleau has been chosen for an Irish athletics camp ©OFI
Fontainebleau has been chosen for an Irish athletics camp ©OFI

Fontainebleau, around 60 kilometres southeast of Paris, has been chosen as a pre-Games training camp for Ireland's athletics teams.

The town is renowned for its historic Château de Fontainebleau, which once belonged to the kings of France.

Athletes will be based at Stade Philippe Mahut.

"We are very pleased to be at this stage of our planning and thankful to both the town of Fontainebleau and the Mercure Hotel for their time and hospitality so far," said Chef de Mission Gavin Noble. 

"I am very confident that this is the ideal environment for the athletics team to make their final preparations and we are hugely motivated to support our athletes and coaches in advance of entering the Olympic Village and an exciting week of competition."