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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 16 Nov 2000

Vol. 526 No. 2

Written Answers. - Sports Funding.

Brian O'Shea


25 Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the proposals he has received for funding from the Football Association of Ireland for the development of facilities at grassroots level; if he will provide the funding sought; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25956/00]

Under my Department's sports capital programme substantial funding is provided towards the provision of sport and recreation facilities for clubs and organisations. Soccer clubs at local and junior levels continue to benefit under the programme and this year alone, grants totalling £4.254 million were allocated to 101 soccer clubs at grassroots level in every part of the country. In addition, grants to the value of £1.2 million were allocated to six national league clubs this year, all of which are deeply involved in the training, coaching and development of young players and teams.

I intend to announce details of the 2001 sports capital programme next month and local soccer clubs will again have an opportunity to apply for assistance from the programme for the improvement of their grounds and facilities.

When the FAI presented its previous pre-budget submission, Improving the Quality of Life and Social Inclusion Through the Development of Soccer, in November 1999, the Minister for Finance and myself met them separately and it was made clear at the time that while the pro posals contained in the submission were progressive the question of funding of the association could only be considered in the context of overall sports policy in relation to the whole spectrum of sports and of the resources available.
The latest proposals from the FAI echo those put forward last year, and I have referred them to the Irish Sports Council for consideration in the context of their overall sports funding priorities and available resources. The Irish Sports Council is currently providing a special grant of £62,000 to the Football Association of Ireland for a special pilot programme for the promotion and development of soccer among youth in identified areas of social and economic disadvantage.