Local Fianna Fáil Senator, Eugene Murphy, has welcomed a Sports Ireland funding announcement which will positively impact the communities of Athlone and Ballinasloe.
“Dormant account funding will be allocated to establish and develop 10 new community sports and physical activity hubs as well as the 36 existing hubs,” he said.
“An existing hub at Athlone Regional Sports Centre will receive €43,680 in funding which is most welcome, while Ballinasloe Community Sports Hub will benefit in funding of €63,680.
“The investment aims to engage communities across the country, focusing on people with disabilities, people who are educationally disadvantaged, and from disadvantaged communities.
“This past year of the pandemic has made us all realise the importance of exercise, fitness, and sports in relation to our physical and mental health and wellbeing so it’s great to see this level of funding for sporting projects.
“This funding will help make a real difference to communities in Athlone and Ballinasloe and will encourage more people to get fit and active by taking part in sports in their local community.
“These sports hubs will provide support and advice on a wide range of sports and hopefully make it easier for people in disadvantaged areas to get involved in sports and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.” Senator Murphy added.
Extension of commercial rates waiver will assist businesses
Meanwhile, Senator Murphy has welcomed the fact that the Government has announced an extension of the current commercial rates waiver for an additional three months, covering July to September.
This waiver extension was announced as part of the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan.
The Government previously announced that the commercial rates waiver put in place for the first quarter of 2021 had been extended to the second quarter and it is now to be further extended to the third quarter.
“This is most welcome and will continue to assist and help businesses which are struggling to survive during these difficult times,” he stated. “The waiver is intended to continue supporting eligible businesses as they adjust to the reopening of the economy and recover from the impact of the pandemic. Businesses currently eligible for the waiver will continue to be eligible for the waiver for quarter three.”
As has been the case with the 2021 to date, automatic eligibility applies to retail, hospitality including hotels, pubs, and restaurants, leisure and entertainment, personal services such as hairdressers and barbers, health services, and various additional categories.
It is estimated that the extension of the waiver in the third quarter of 2021 will cost €160 million.
“The cost of the waiver is expected to be in the region of €160m with over €4m of that going to Roscommon County Council and over €10m to Galway County Council which gives support to local authorities to continue to carry out their work in the provision of key services. It has been a very difficult time for many businesses as they continue to struggle with the impact of the pandemic so this extension of the commercial waiver will help them as they begin to re-open,” Senator Murphy concluded.