Local TD, Denis Naughten has welcomed the allocation of €348,000 to 10 local sporting organisations but stated that many other sports applications are left without funding, due to a failure to maximise the use of the grant scheme.
“48 Roscommon clubs submitted applications under the Sports Capital Grant Scheme, with plans to invest over €5m in sport and recreation facilities throughout the County, but only 1 in 5 applications were successful”.
“Speaking in the Dáil last week I put forward a proposal to the Minister which would ensure that up to 30 applications from Co. Roscommon could be approved. This was based on plans by local clubs to spend an additional 65% on top of the potential grant aid from the Department.”
With sports clubs making such a massive commitment from their own resources the Government could have trebled the grant which would have a direct and indirect employment spin off effect within the communities which these clubs serve. And the savings in social welfare as well as the additional tax take would mean that the total net cost to the taxpayer would still be €30m, the figure originally earmarked for the grant scheme.
“Having worked closely with some of the successful applications, I have no doubt that they will have a huge benefit in their local communities.
I am however disappointed that other projects, equally as valuable have not been successful, especially when a small bit of novel thinking by Government could have tripled the sports grant fund.
Unsuccessful groups will be written to by the Department next fortnight providing them with an assessment of their application” concluded Denis Naughten.