I thank the Ceann Comhairle for the opportunity to raise this matter. The last allocation of CLÁR funding has been a serious disappointment in County Cork. I will go through the figures. Over €3.8 million was allocated nationwide. In Cork county, €115,000 was allocated. This represented only 3% of the total. In north Cork, which I represent, there was no funding at all. It went to a number of projects in west Cork. The Department, which had been in communication with the local authorities over recent years, set out that Cork county was entitled to have 15 priority projects under the CLÁR programme. The Department informed the local authority that if these were prioritised by it, they would be funded. Only three of them were funded. The funding applications made by Cork County Council, which examines each of the communities' priorities, prioritised traffic-calming in Knocknagree, alongside the school, for example. The Minister of State, Deputy Canney, would have to agree that the traffic-calming measures around schools have a positive effect. The local authority also prioritised projects in Kanturk, Lyre and Millstreet. The representatives on the ground were making great play about what they had done for those communities but none of the funding came through.
CLÁR funding is a vital component of projects. The locals put in so much money, and CLÁR and the local authorities provide other moneys. The CLÁR programme is vital in funding projects in rural communities, such as Knocknagree, Kanturk, Lyre and Millstreet. CLÁR funding has been of great benefit. Why was Cork county getting only 3% of the funding? As I stated, it received only €115,000 out of €3.8 million, which was the allocation nationwide. Why were the projects prioritised by the local authority in Cork not funded?
Cork county is at a great disadvantage in that its landmass is greater than six counties put together. Any of the six counties that would make up the landmass of County Cork would have far more projects funded. Cork county needs to be examined according to its three divisions, namely, the northern, southern and western divisions. There should be a number of projects funded per division under the CLÁR programme. Has the Department, in its wisdom, taken the populations into account? The northern division, which is predominantly the area I represent, has over 90,000 people. Some 150,000 live in the southern division. Smaller counties have similar populations. Cork County Council has three local community development companies, LCDCs. Funding should be allocated per LCDC.
Let me return to the fundamental point. Projects were prioritised by our local authority and it was led to believe they would be funded under the CLÁR programme. Why were they not funded under the CLÁR announcement made earlier in the year, which was worth €3.8 million nationwide? I will leave those questions with the Minister of State and come back to him with more points.