THE allocation of €502,150 to Laois in the first round of sports capital funding announced for four years is well below the national average.
On a per capita basis, it is one of the smaller county allocations.
Laois received an average of €114 per person living in the county, whereas the national average was €140 per week.
Annanough GAA and Portlaoise soccer clubs – who both received €60,000 - were the biggest beneficiaries among the eighteen Laois organisations that were approved for funding.
While clubs and organisations can now proceed with their development and improvement works, Deputy Sean Fleming said it was important to note that they were all providing substantial funds above the actual grant from their own resources.
He urged those that weren’t approved for a grant to re-apply.
Minister for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring announced the €26million in new funding. 2,170 applications were made nationally and further allocations of €4m will be made to national and regional projects in the coming weeks.
Minister Ring said, “It will also enable a diverse array of sports and clubs and groups to build and improve much needed facilities or to purchase sports equipment.”
Where the €0.5m went in Laois;
Annanough GAA €60,000; Portlaoise AFC €60,000; St Aengus Mountrath Football Club €57,000; Abbeyleix Park Committee €53,150; Laois County Council €50,000; Ballyfin GAA €50,000.
Rosenallis GAA €29,000; Castletown GAA €25,000; Cullohill Handball Club €24,000; Ballypickas GAA €23,000; Mountmellick Gymnastics Club €20,000.
Portlaoise Boxing Club €13,000; Clonin Sportsfield €10,000; Laois Cricket Club €9,000; Killeen Community Centre €5,000; Killeen Ladies Football €5,000; Woodenbridge Paddlers €5,000; Laois Marlins Swim Club €4,000.
Deputy Brian Stanley welcomed the money for sport.
“These grants will prove invaluable to local clubs and committees throughout the county who provide badly needed facilities to cater for all age groups and interests. For example the grant for Knockmay in Portlaoise will be used to develop a much needed playing field which the local group have been working on for some time.
Another example is St. Aengus Soccer Club in Mountrath which has been in existence for over 40 years. They are raising funds to purchase their own grounds so their grant will provide a shot in the arm to assist them in getting new facilities.”
“All the other recipients are equally deserving of financial support and I encourage more clubs and organisations to apply for funding next year. I am available to assist and advise those who wish to apply.”