Lot­tery fund­ing hits low as min­is­ters are ac­cused of show­ing favouritism

Bray People - - Out And About At Christmas Time -

COUNTY WICK­LOW has re­ceived one of the low­est amounts of Lot­tery fund­ing in the coun­try, as the Gov­ern­ment have been ac­cused of al­low­ing min­is­ters to favour their own con­stituen­cies when allocating funds.

From 2003 to 2008 County Wick­low has only re­ceived €9,284,960 for a pop­u­la­tion of 126,194, work­ing out at a mere €73.57 per capita. Only Car­low (€68.04) and Kil­dare (€71.80) re­ceived less.

The grants are meant to be al­lo­cated by the Depart­ment of Arts, Tourism and Sport to GAA and soc­cer clubs, ath­letic clubs, row­ing teams and other sport­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions based on merit.

How­ever, a glance at the fig­ures over a six-year pe­riod show that the act­ing min­is­ter has of­ten shown a clear pref­er­ence to clubs in his own con­stituency.

For in­stance, out of the to­tal of €405 mil­lion al­lo­cated, €20.67 mil­lion has gone to clubs in County Kerry. That works out at €147.88 per per­son liv­ing there. It just so hap­pens that John O’Donoghue was Min­is­ter for Arts, Tourism and Sports in that pe­riod and also hap­pens to be a Kerry man.

Deputy Billy Tim­mins says it’s quite clear that the Gov­ern­ment aren’t be­ing even­handed when de­cid­ing how the fund­ing should be fairly al­lo­cated.

‘It’s re­gret­table that County Wick­low didn’t get a fair share of the lotto grants. Some projects have ben­e­fit­ted in this time but it’s clear that that the al­lo­ca­tion isn’t hap­pen­ing on an im­par­tial level.

‘One has to re­ally won­der about this Gov­ern­ment’s record of allocating funds over the past decade or so. Re­gard­ing the lotto grants, is fund­ing de­pen­dent on needs and mer­its as it should be, or be­cause cer­tain clubs or or­gan­i­sa­tions hap­pen to re­side in the rel­e­vant min­is­ter’s con­stituency?’

The home con­stituency of the Min­is­ter for Fi­nance has also tra­di­tion­ally done very well fund­ing wise.

In Brian Cowen’s con­stituency of Of­faly €136.760 per per­son was spend over the same six-year pe­riod, the sec­ond high­est level in the coun­try.

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