Funding windfall for sportclubs welcomed

by Gazette Reporter

MORE than €1m in funding has been allocated to 17 sports clubs and organisations in north County Dublin as part of the new round of sport capital grants announced recently by the Government. The scheme assists clubs to improve and upgrade facilities and equipment.
Allocations include €7,819 to Balbriggan Cricket Club; €1,805 to Fingal Hockey Club; €41,646 to Fingal Ravens GFC as well as €10,138 to Garristown GAA Club; and €2,522 to Kinsealy Boys Football Club.
A total of €150,000 went to Fingal County Council for Sluagh Hall, the former residence of the army reserves that is now used by local clubs.
Other allocations include €91,475 to Man O War GFC; €33,370 to North County Cricket Club; and €9,828 to Ring Commons Sports Centre.
A massive €150,000 went to Round Towers Lusk GAA; €54,026 to Rush Athletic Football Club; as well as €60,750 to Rush Sailing Club. Some €119,000 was allocated to Skerries Community Association; €6,080 to Skerries Sailing Club; €142,011 to St Patrick’s GAA Club, Donabate; €120,000 to St Sylvester’s GAA Club; and €32,906 to the Hills Cricket Club.
Deputy Alan Farrell (FG) said the grants would greatly benefit local communities across the constituency, and prove to be very significant for the local economy. “Providing sports clubs with this funding is of the utmost importance in terms of supporting their future development and growth.
“Furthermore, it is essential to continue to boost sports clubs and organisations in order to promote sport locally and increase the number of people participating in sport and physical activity. This is vital in the fight against obesity; after all, projections from the World Health Organisation have shown that Ireland is on track to become the most obese country in Europe.”
The Minister offered commiserations to clubs that were unsuccessful with their application and urged them to consider reapplying in the future.
Children’s Minister James Reilly said sport was an excellent way to promote good physical and mental health.
“Aside from promoting good health, sport also has a really valuable community development function. Sport brings local people together in towns and villages across the country, fostering a sense of solidarity in communities,” he said.
Cllr Adrian Henchy (FF), who is a member and coach at St Patrick’s GAA, Donabate, said it was great that the club has been granted such significant funding, as it had applied unsuccessfully in the past. “Last year was the first time they were successful in their application having fallen short in previous years. The first phase of the grounds development was the installation of floodlights, which went in this year and are a fantastic addition to the campus. The bulk of this year’s grant will go to develop a sand-based pitch which will be playable in all weather,”
He said this would be particularly welcome as the club had to travel to different locations for training during the winter months because the standard grass pitch was unusable in certain weather. “I don’t think it will boost membership per se because the club has enormous membership, but it will certainly enhance the experience of members.” He said this followed a significant transformation on the grounds of St Ita’s at nearby Ballymastone which was paid for through a capital grant last year.

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