Tax-payers money funding elitism via Sports Capital programme - Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for Sport, Imelda Munster TD, has today hit out at Minister Shane Ross for allocating millions of euro of state funding into private sports facilities, while local public sporting clubs and facilities in disadvantaged areas go without.
Deputy Munster said:
“This week we learned that Shane Ross allocated €150,000 to improve sports facilities at the fee-paying Wesley college in Dublin. He is giving another €150,000 to a private golf club that charges annual fees of over €8,000 to members.
"Meanwhile, local clubs in disadvantaged areas are receiving a pittance by comparison.
“The government is using the Sports Capital Programme to buy votes by funding clubs in middle-class areas.
“This is not what the Sports Capital Programme is about. I am sickened that the government is using the grant programme to fund organisations in their own areas.
“Clubs in middle class areas that charge membership fees of several thousand euros year do not need the funding.
"If a club can charge €8,000 annual fees from members, then it should use that money to improve facilities. The rest of us shouldn’t have to pick up the bill.
“We need a thorough investigation to look at where this money is going.
“Clubs like this don’t warrant funding from this programme when there are so many other local sporting clubs which provide invaluable service in communities across the state.
“The very purpose of these grants is to help voluntary community sports groups. This flies in the face of the whole ethics of the project and what it was set up to do in the first place.
“The whole qualifying criteria and how disadvantaged areas have not been awarded adequate funding needs to be investigated.
“This is a Fine Gael Government buying votes by favouring middle class areas.
“The government thinks it’s reasonable for the tax-payer to pay €2million this year to improve facilities in elitist social clubs. It’s outrageous.
"The Minister, Shane Ross, is so out of touch that he is boasting about it.
“This government isn’t even pretending to care about the ordinary people in this country any more.