Department of Sport announces €6.9m funding through Sports Capital Programme

Projects in Shane Ross constituency get 5% of total sports funds

Minister for Sport Shane Ross came under fire last year for allocating €150,000 to the fee-paying Wesley College.

Minister for Sport Shane Ross came under fire last year for allocating €150,000 to the fee-paying Wesley College.


Projects in Minister for Sport Shane Ross’s constituency are to receive almost 5 per cent of the total allocation of State funding in the latest batch of capital sports grants.

Mr Ross and Minister of State in the Department of Sport Brendan Griffin on Thursday announced the allocation of almost €6.9 million under the Sports Capital Programme for 170 projects that were last year deemed invalid.

Mr Ross came under fire last year for a €150,000 sports grant for a hockey pitch to fee-paying Wesley College in his Dublin Rathdown constituency, amid accusations that dozens of public schools in more deprived areas failed to secure funding.

In this latest round of funding, four projects in Mr Ross’ constituency secured a total of €325,100, or 4.7 per cent of the total.

The biggest of these was at Jesus and Mary College, Our Lady’s Grove, Goatstown, which was allocated €150,000 for a new astro floodlit pitch with changing rooms, which was the joint highest amount allocated to any project across the State.

Other successful applications in Mr Ross’ constituency were from Kilmacud Crokes GAA club in Stillorgan which is to receive €149,600 for new dressing rooms, while Carrickmines Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club will get €20,100 for outdoor flood lighting.

Finally, St Tiernan’s Cycling Club near Sandyford and Dundrum is to get €5,400 for “performance improvement cycling equipment”.

Kerry projects

Meanwhile, projects in Mr Griffin’s constituency of Kerry have been allocated a total of €325,200, which also accounts for 4.7 per cent of the total amount of funding.

The largest of these is €59,000 which the South and East Kerry Community Rural Track is to receive for a new facility, while Camp Community Council will get €55,000 for “sports redevelopment works”.

Elsewhere, St Brendan’s Trust was awarded two grants. The first of these totals €53,700 for the development of an artificial playing surface in Listowel, while it will also receive €42,800 for a community all-weather pitch in Listry.

Other Kerry projects that got the green light include Kenmare Community School which will get €36,000 for a “compact athletics training facility”, while Listowel Community Centre is to receive €22,800 to fit out its gym.

Meanwhile, St Brendan’s Park in Tralee has been allocated €45,200 for “club development”, while Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne will get €10,700 for the development of a “specialist training area”.

Mr Ross said the Sports Capital Programme “remains an essential vehicle for providing suitable sports facilities and equipment to allow as many people participate in sport as possible”.

“The grants which we have approved today will benefit every county and 23 different sports will see improved facilities and equipment,” he said. “I look forward to announcing grants to many more deserving sports projects later in the year.”

Mr Griffin said volunteers working behind the clubs were “the lifeblood” of sport across the State.

“Since being appointed minister with responsibility for sport I have had the pleasure of seeing the huge difference that the Sports Capital Programme has made,” he said. “I commend the volunteers behind the clubs and groups receiving grants today.

“They are the lifeblood of sports in Ireland and providing them with the right facilities and equipment is the least we can do to assist them in their roles as coaches, mentors or grounds keepers.”