Senator Micheál Carrigy
Longford languishes on the bottom rung of the ladder when it comes to the allocation of Sports Capital Programme funding and this imbalance needs to be addressed, according to Senator Micheál Carrigy.
Fine Gael’s Seanad spokesperson for Arts, Media, Sports and Tourism outlined that in November 2019, a total of €37 million of the public's money was allocated to 994 different projects with 37 different sports benefitting.
Dublin clubs and associations received more than €7.5 million in grants, while the next largest recipient was Cork which received €4.18 million and Galway which received €2.28 million.
“On the bottom rung of the ladder was my county of Longford which got €291,906, while our constituency neighbours Westmeath received €780,569,” stated Senator Carrigy.
He further explained, “Longford has received only €20.99 and Westmeath a €25 allocation per capita in 2017, 2018 and 2019 when the country average is €32.88. Therefore, when decisions are being made on the allocation of the Sports Capital Fund 2020, we need to ensure that this imbalance is addressed, and each county gets its fair share.”
Acknowledging that it would not be possible to fund all applications received in 2021, Senator Carrigy asked that the Department would prioritise any unsuccessful validated project for funding in 2022 or indeed 2023.
Senator Carrigy remarked, “Everybody involved in sport knows the importance of the Sports Capital Programme and the Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced just how important sport is to our society. As well as the pleasure and excitement of watching sport, actively engaging in sport is critical for our physical and mental wellbeing.
“A number of clubs in Longford including Longford Tennis Club and Longford Rugby Club are applying for this funding and there is always more that can be done to make sure everyone, no matter their age or background, has the opportunity to participate in sport in some capacity. That is why this funding is vitally important this year and, in the years, to come.”
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