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Belfast’s boxing fraternity deserve better from city council – McVeigh

5 January, 2018 - by Jim McVeigh

Sinn Féin Councillor Jim McVeigh said today that the dedicated hard working people who have produced incredible results in boxing deserve more support from Belfast City Council.

Jim McVeigh was speaking after this morning’s meeting of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee backed only one-year funding for the Belfast Boxing Strategy.

DUP, Alliance, UUP and PUP Councillors, alongside former SDLP Councillor Pat Convery, again voted against the funding being approved for three years. 

Cllr McVeigh said:

“This morning’s meeting came after votes in the last month in which the DUP, Alliance, UUP, PUP and former SDLP councillors voted against approving a further three years of funding for the Boxing Strategy.

“Sinn Féin has consistently and actively supported the Belfast Boxing Strategy and voted on both previous occasions in favour of funding being approved for a further three years.

“In today’s meeting of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, the DUP, Alliance, UUP, PUP and former SDLP Councillor Pat Convery again voted against the funding being approved for three years.

“The committee agreed to fund the strategy for only one-year, subject to an equality impact assessment to inform future funding.

“Sinn Féin welcomes the one-year funding agreed today. However, we are extremely disappointed that the other parties wouldn’t give their support for the three-year period proposed.

“This is a ten-year boxing strategy which started in 2012 and should be funded for the lifetime of the strategy until 2022. We shouldn't have to come back here year on year to continue funding. This gives no long-term confidence or security to the IABA or to the development of boxing in Belfast.

“The hard-working, dedicated people behind boxing in this city have produced incredible results that other cities can only dream of and they deserve more than this.

“Councillors from some of the parties who voted against continuing funding for another three years will be the first to jump into photos when boxers who have benefited as a result of this boxing strategy win medals and bring them back to Belfast.

“Sinn Féin will continue to support this strategy into the future and other parties should get real about their support for amateur boxing in this city."

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