A new round of Sports Capital funding is needed to help sports clubs in Galway city and county, and across the State, deal with the fall-out and aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis.
This is the view of Labour Galway City West councillor, Niall McNelis, who has called on the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin, and the Minister of State for Sport, Jack Chambers, to "immediately announce" a new round of sports funding.
"I have been talking extensively to many different sporting organisations and clubs in Galway city and county," said Cllr McNelis, "and the main message they have relayed is that they are struggling because of a lack of funding. Many clubs are ready to proceed with funding applications for capital investment if a new Sports Capital funding stream were to become available."
'These clubs are at the heart of our communities and have been unable to fundraise during the pandemic leaving many at the risk of closure'
Cllr McNelis's call follows a parliamentary question from Labour, which revealed that 1,648 applications were successful in the last round of funding, with a further six successful on appeal, amounting to more than €56 million invested in Irish sport.
In June, grants of €70 million were announced for the GAA, FAI, and IRFU, and for all other sporting organisations and clubs in the State. However, it has since been revealed that this money has not reached these organisations yet and that Sport Ireland is to announce a scheme shortly.
"This is not good enough," said Cllr McNelis. "Many struggling sports clubs may not reopen unless they receive funding immediately. These clubs are at the heart of our communities and have been unable to fundraise during the pandemic leaving many at the risk of closure. We cannot allow this to happen."