Clare District Soccer League Slams County Council Over Funding Application Discrepancies

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The Clare District Soccer League has accused Clare County Council of neglecting its bid to access vital grants under a fund which aims to recognise settlements hosting large numbers of Asylum Seekers and Ukrainian Refugees.

Almost €5m has been allocated to Clare voluntary and sporting organisations under the Community Recognition Fund to date, however in both of the past two years, the local authority has excluded proposed upgrades to Frank Healy Park from it’s funding application.

In a letter seen by Clare FM, the local authority has advised the CDSL, it’s latest application for works worth €480,000, “may be more suited to the Sports Capital Grant Scheme”.

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The CDSL claims local soccer clubs received less than €13,000 last year, while one council led project at Ballyalla was allocated €132,500 alone.

CDSL Assistant Secretary Richard Cahill says accountability is urgently needed.

Listen to the full interview here

Clare County Council Statement

“We appreciate the opportunity to address the concerns raised by the Clare District Soccer League (CDSL) regarding the Community Recognition Fund applications for 2023 and 2024.

 

Under the Community Recognition Fund 2024, Clare County Council was allocated funding of €2,608,408 for projects across 22 eligible towns/villages. Selection of the projects to be submitted to the Department of Rural and Community Development for funding consideration was a competitive process. 60 Expressions of Interest were received from a wide range of groups, and due to the limited availability of funds, a shortlisting process was required meaning that not all submitted projects could go forward as part of the funding proposal to the Department of Rural and Community Development. 21 projects were shortlisted and have been included in the Funding Proposal submitted to the Department of Rural and Community Development and the decision to fund any or all of these projects rests with the Department. Projects shortlisted range from playgrounds, community centres, park enhancements, walking tracks and works at sporting facilities, including GAA, soccer, rugby and cricket facilities. The wide range of projects shortlisted demonstrates the Council’s commitment to supporting a diverse range of community projects that benefit residents across the county.

 

Under the Fund, it is open to the Council to submit requests for funding for projects that will be delivered by the Council and again it is a matter for the Department of Rural and Community Development to give approval for these. The Council projects mentioned were put forward under the 2023 Scheme and were selected based on their potential to enhance public amenities and improve quality of life for a wide demographic of our community.

 

We understand and value the importance of sports, including soccer, to our community. The advice provided to CDSL to apply for funding through the Sports Capital Grant Scheme was based on our belief that this scheme would be more suitable, given the level of funding being sought (€490k), and the fact that it is more advantageous for sporting organisations. The Sports Capital Grant Scheme is specifically designed to support sports infrastructure and development, offering tailored funding opportunities that align closely with the needs of sports clubs.

 

Clare County Council remains open to collaborating with CDSL and other sporting organisations to explore all available funding opportunities. We encourage continued dialogue to ensure that the needs of the soccer community are met and to find the best pathways for supporting their initiatives.

 

We are dedicated to fostering a vibrant, active, and inclusive community and will continue to advocate for projects that serve the diverse interests of all our residents.

 

For further information or to discuss potential funding opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact our Rural and Community Development Officers who are available to advise and support community groups in relation to projects and potential funding opportunities.”