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Matt Carthy MEP weighs in to support St. Brigids Boxing Club in Kildare

2 September, 2014 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has joined calls for action to be taken to save St. Brigids Boxing Club in Kildare town.  Mr. Carthy visited the club last Friday, 29th August, and met with Head Coach Pat Phelan to discuss concerns for the club’s future.

St. Brigids Boxing Club has been operating out of its current premises for five years but is now threatened with closure as the unit in which it is housed is being sold by the National Asset Management Agency.

Speaking following his visit the Midlands North West MEP confirmed that he has written to the Minister for Sport, NAMA chairperson Frank Daly and the Ministers for Finance calling for action to secure the future of the club.

Mr. Carthy said: 

“This club is an asset to its local community.  It has over 150 members, has produced many champions and has provided an outlet for many young people in the area.  The present location and facilities are perfect for the Club and try as they might the members have not been able to find alternative suitable accommodation in the area. 

“Since my meeting with Head Coach, Pat Phelan, and other members of the club I have written to NAMA chairman Frank Daly to explore ways of ensuring the future of the Boxing Club.  Section 2 of the NAMA Act states that it shall be an objective of the Agency to contribute to employment and economic recovery and to the achievement of broader social and economic policy objectives.  The closure of St. Brigids Boxing Club would run counter to this objective”.

Carthy continued:

“The closure of such a facility is an outrage considering two in three adults and one in four children in Ireland are overweight or obese. An estimated 90% of people in Ireland will be obese by 2030 unless drastic action is taken, experts have warned.  Reports from the Irish Sports Council indicate that only 19% of primary school and 12% of post-primary school children are meeting Department of Health and Children physical activity recommendations.  Sporting clubs are at the forefront in the battle to address this deficiency.

“I have also written to the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Pascal Donohoe, calling for political intervention to save the club.  It is not good enough for politicians to heap praise on Olympic medal winning boxers such as Katie Taylor while at the same time failing to provide adequate supports for clubs such as St. Brigids.”

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