€29.1 million investment in sports capital shows Govt commitment to a Healthy Ireland

Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, has today (Tuesday) commended the Minister for Sport, Michael Ring TD on the allocation of €29.1 million for the Sports Capital Programme announced in Budget 2015. This brings to just over €100 million the amount this Government has invested in the Sports Capital Programme.

“Funding of €29.1 million will allow for 1,130 payments to sports clubs and institutions across the country. This funding is a terrific boost for clubs and confirms the Government’s commitment to healthy living.

“This funding presents a third opportunity for clubs to seek funding under the present Government. Since taking office we have recognised the importance of sport in Irish life and we have proven our dedication to supporting the volunteers who keep our sports clubs going.

“Investment in sport is extremely important as it also helps to tackle childhood obesity and it promotes healthy living. A study published on the online journal BMC Public Health tells us that childhood obesity has plateaued since 2008 but one in four children in Ireland are still overweight or obese. This is a very real problem and additional funding in our sports institutions is extremely important in tackling the obesity problem.

“The Sport Capital Programme allows for significant investment in local economies and this has a knock-on effect in creating local jobs.

“I would encourage sports clubs and institutions to apply for this funding and to invest in the future of their communities. Expanding local services should also be more attractive now in light of the recent announcement by Minister Simon Harris which meant that commercial rates will no longer apply to sporting clubs with bars or other commercial properties, expect for the commercial element of the club.

“The Irish people have made huge sacrifices to get the country to this point. Those sacrifices are starting to bear fruit but we acknowledge that many people have not yet felt the benefits of a recovering economy in their daily lives. The Sports Capital Programme is an extremely effective way of bringing investment into local communities and this funding is very much to be welcomed.”