Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West Éamon Ó Cuív has called on the Environment Minister to explain why money from the Dormant Accounts Fund is not being used for social and educational projects. The fund was set up after the DIRT inquiry to ensure that unclaimed money from dormant accounts can be used to support schemes in disadvantaged areas and people with a disability.
Deputy Ó Cuív said, “The Dormant Account Fund has been supporting social and educational schemes across the country for over 10 years and has been integral in providing money for important assistance projects dealing with social and economic disadvantage, educational disadvantage and disability programmes.
“Since it was established funding worth €148m has been used to pay for sports projects for disadvantaged children, suicide prevention programmes and accessible transport schemes. However, since this Government has come into power, the amount of money allocated under the fund has dropped dramatically. There is now over €111m which is lying in the fund, which has gone unspent. The fact that this money is lying in an untouched account goes against the very premise on which this fund was set up.
“I’m urging Minister Alan Kelly to rethink his Government’s cavalier approach to this important fund. Once again we see important schemes sidelined even though the money is there to fund them. Nothing is being gained from hoarding tens of millions of euros in deposit accounts. It should be spent on valuable schemes which benefit disadvantaged groups and people with disabilities”.