This Government has nothing to be ashamed of with regard to the provision of sports facilities or investment in sport, which has been massive. Since the Taoiseach first brought the position of sport to the Cabinet table in 1997, the amount of money allocated for sport has increased from approximately €17 million to €176 million per annum. Developments, such as the national aquatic centre, have been a tremendous credit to the Government and country.
It is incorrect of the Deputy to suggest I have been dithering. The opposite is the truth. In September last year, the Government made a decision to the effect that it could not proceed with the proposal at Abbotstown from Exchequer funding due to economic circumstances and mandated me to seek expressions of interest from the private sector, which I duly did. Once these were evaluated, I asked the sporting associations, the IRFU and FAI, to make proposals, which they did. Subsequently, they sought an opportunity to provide some clarity on their proposals, which they also did, and the Office of Public Works has been examining the proposals in the interim. In those circumstances, I fail to see the logic of Deputy Deenihan's argument.
The current position is that I have sufficient information, other than the final evaluation of the latest document presented by the IRFU and FAI, to go to Government. This documentation should be ready soon and I have stated publicly my wish to bring the relevant memorandum to Government for decision at some point in January. As I have pointed out on numerous occasions, the memorandum will include the various options the Government can consider and, having done so, it will, in its wisdom, make a decision. I have also repeatedly indicated my personal desire to construct a new stadium, because the IRFU and FAI unquestionably require a home. I believe the sporting public has also identified the need for such a stadium.