Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh has expressed her disapproval regarding the awarding of Sports Capital Grants to schools in Dublin.

The Crumlin based Senator raised the matter in Seanad Éireann earlier today.

“As I sat recently raking through this year’s list of sports grant recipients I was struck by the low number of inner city schools which are in desperate need of sports facilities and which are yet again left without funding,” explained Senator Ardagh.

“There are a number of projects in Dublin 8 and Dublin 12 that are designed to provide much needed sports facilities for young people in our area but have been ignored by this Government year in year out.

“I was shocked to learn that one private secondary school in South Dublin was awarded €150,000.

“The CBS in Drimnagh, which educates and nurtures hundreds of young boys in the South Inner City had sought a similar proportion of funding but has been badly let down. This school does not benefit from private funding and rely solely on State support.

“To add insult to injury, South Inner City based rugby club, the Liberty Saints are expected to receive €7,000 while Malahide RFC in the North County have been allocated over €100,000 – That is a substantial difference and one which I believe to be deeply unfair.

She added, “It is nonsensical that those most in need of sports facilities to support the development of young people living in areas that are crippled by crime and anti-social behaviour, have been overlooked for another year.

“We hear near constant lip service from this Government that it will offer better supports to inner city communities yet a prime opportunity in the allocation of sports funding has again gone ignored.

“Fine Gael continues to neglect schools and local organisations ability to keep young people in the south inner city out of criminality and away from drugs.

“These communities are crying out for proper local amenities, facilities and adequate affordable housing. Minister Ross’ self-indulgent allocation of sports funding to his local private school is an insult to the people of inner city Dublin,” concluded Senator Ardagh.