Munster calls on Minister Ross to publicly clarify doubts on Sports Grants funding
Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson for Transport, Tourism, Sport, and Urban Renewal Imelda Munster has today called on Minister Shane Ross to make a decision on when Sports Capital Programme grants will next be made available to sports clubs and groups.
Speaking at the first meeting this Dáil term of the Select Committee on Transport Tourism and Sport this morning, Deputy Munster asked Minister Ross if funding would be available this year, 2016, and if not, when it is next expected that applications will be accepted.
Minister Ross said that it is anticipated that the next application process will open in early 2017, but when questioned further by Munster, admitted that the final decision is a political one which has yet to be made by himself and his colleague Minister for State for Sport, Patrick O’Donovan TD.
The Louth TD said:
“It is very important that we get clarity on this matter as a large number of sporting groups nationwide rely on this funding, and need to know when applications are next being accepted so that they can plan ahead.
“Some of these groups have applied for funding in the past and might have been turned town, or their application may have been deemed invalid, making their current need for funding all the more acute.”
Deputy Munster also stressed the need for more regularity in the release of this funding, so that clubs are not left out in the cold for years on end, as currently funding is only available periodically, which leaves some in a precarious financial position, saying:
“I would like to call on Ministers Ross and O’Donovan to make a decision on this matter to assist sports groups to access this funding, so that they can continue to play an important part in communities, community health and well-being across the country.”