Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh has said that the allocation of grants within Dublin under the Sports Capital Programme exposes this Government’s failure to support deprived or insufficiently resourced communities in the south inner city.

The Senator, who is based in Crumlin, Dublin 12 was commenting following the publication of the Sports Capital Grant Programme which indicates that the allocation of funds ignores the need for more investment in projects across south Inner city.

Senator Ardagh said, “The Sports Capital Programme is said to be designed to foster an integrated and planned approach to developing sports and physical recreation facilities throughout Ireland.

“I am deeply frustrated that the Department of Sport has failed to recognise the essential need for increased resources to enable many inner city projects and community groups, the majority of which are volunteer run, to give children the best possible chance of optimising their full potential.

“Donnybrook Lawn Tennis Club received €140,000 in sports funding. The tennis club in Mount Pleasant, Ranelagh secured €150,000. In stark contrast, St Catherine’s Community and Sports Facility on Marrowbone Lane have been allocated €18,000 while Bluebell Youth Centre just over €11,000.

“Given the degree of neglect that the south inner city has suffered over recent years, I had hoped that the Department would have looked at applications from inner city organisations more favourably. For an area of the city which has limited community facilities, these allocations have been wholly inadequate.

“Government Ministers may continue to emphasise the improvement in the economy but inner city communities continue to be plagued by neglect.

“The south inner city is the heart of our capital but an area with some of the worst educational records and rates of crime per capita not to mention complex difficulties with problem drug use. The Government seems intent on ensuring things remain that way.

“Whether it’s intentional or not, the message coming from this Government is that the people of the south inner city are not worth investment.”