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Tipperary – Sports Capital Programme Funding Announced

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring is “excited.” Sure why wouldn’t he be, he has just announced almost €26 million in new funding, under the Sports Capital Programme, for local sports projects across the Republic of Ireland, & conveniently just prior to ‘Budget Day,’ next Wednesday. However out of 96 clubs situated around North & South Tipperary, who applied for this funding, only 30 clubs have been lucky with their applications.

Michael Ring came in for criticism earlier this year when a 70% increase (€1.7m) in lottery funding ended up in Co Mayo, (Who of importance lives in Mayo, I wonder.) for which the Minister, when questioned, denied that there was anything unusual or indeed untoward about this generosity.

A total number of 2,170 sports funding applications were received nationally, the highest number of applications ever sought under this Programme, which would have required some €229 million in initial funding if all were accepted.

In announcing this funding Minister Ring stated: “I am excited about the allocations being made today. These allocations will benefit people in every county; by giving them more opportunities to get involved in sport, whatever their ability. This funding will allow a diverse array of sports clubs and groups to build and improve much-needed facilities, or to purchase sports equipment.

Whatever about some clubs creating employment in the construction sector, it is highly unlikely that these, mainly GAA, clubs are going to buy me a ‘camán,’ at 64 years of age or any other sports equipment for those like myself, afflicted by the ageing process.

Tipperary’s share of these spoils number just 30 clubs jointly in North & South Tipperary

Ballina GAA Club – €56,000, Ballymackey Football Club Ltd – €58,000, Ballyporeen \ Skeheenarinky GAA Field Development Committee – €18,000, Borrisokane Athletic Club – €5,700, Cappawhite N.S. and Cappawhite Community Council Limited – €25,000, Carrick on Suir Athletic Club, Carrick on Suir Community Games and Sean Kelly Sports Centre – €60,000, Carrick United AFC Limited – €28,000, Cashel Kings Cormacs GAA – €36,923, Cashel Rugby Football Club – €30,000, Castleview Lawn Tennis Club Ltd – €19,000, Clanwilliam Football Club – €28,000, Clonmel Celtic Football Club – €30,000, Clonmel Commercials G.F.C / St Marys H.C – €28,000, Tipperary Drangan Community Centre Ltd- €20,000, Galtee Rovers-St. Pecaun’s GAA Club – €30,000, Grangemockler Community Sportsfield – €22,000, Holycross Football Club – €67,000, Kildangan GAA Club – €15,000, KPLAN Community Centre Limited – €20,000, Lahorna Handball Club – €15,000, Newport G.A.A. club – €40,000, Ormond Special Olympics Club, Nenagh – €2,000, Peake Villa Football Club – €15,000, Portroe GAA – €63,000, Rearcross Football Club – €5,000, Riverdale Pitch and Putt club – €15,000, Silvermines GAA Club – €35,000, Thurles Boxing Club – €10,000, Tipperary Town Football Club – €20,000 & finally Upperchurch Drombane GAA Club – €38,000.

The Sports Capital Programme was first introduced in 1999, and quickly developed a notorious reputation for being used by Government Ministers & TD’s to introduce funding into their local Constituencies, so successful clubs here in Tipperary should expect the ‘old TD’s welcoming letters,’ posted tomorrow, which will bear the words, “I have successfully lobbied with my colleague Minister Ring on your behalf.”

I wonder will they now write to the other numbered 66 unsuccessful clubs and what will be their defence?  Will this new allotted funding, paid for by ordinary Irish gamblers, keep a large number of individuals from protesting on our streets, throwing the odd egg or, heaven forbid, even ensure a continued local voting pattern, when followed by next Wednesday’s Budget?  No I don’t think so.

UPDATE: On 3/12/2012 – Just like we forecast yesterday – see Breaking News

The Minister for Sport has defended a decision to give his local soccer club a €200,000 grant.
Westport United Community Soccer Club in Co Mayo was named as one of a number of clubs around the country to benefit from a Department of Sport grant scheme.
Fianna Fáil has told the Irish Daily Mail that there needs to be more transparency about how the money was allocated, because (The party claims) it appears Fine Gael-lobbied projects were given priority. But Minister Michael Ring has hit back, saying his local club deserved the money and he stands over the decision “100%”.
“I did this as fairly as I could do it,” he said. “Did I give my own (constituency) more than anyone else? No. I spread it around the country and around the sports as best I could.

Three grass pitches, 2 Astro-turf pitches and state of the art changing facilities on the way courtesy of Irish people & gifted by Fine Gael & Labour. Of course the new Westport United FC website was launched in the Castlecourt Hotel on Friday 27th April by Deputy Michael Ring TD.

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