More than €780k given to clubs in Tipperary while Kelly a minister
More than €780,000 in State cash has been doled out to support soccer in Tipperary while local TD Alan Kelly has served as a minister.
As Football Association of Ireland (FAI) boss John Delaney told how he worked with Mr Kelly on applications for funding for clubs in the county, the Irish Independent can reveal that they have been allocated €783,000 over the years 2012, 2014 and 2015.
Grants under the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sports Capital Programme include:
€200,000 for the North Tipperary Schoolchildren's Football League.
€80,000 for Cahir Park AFC.
€67,000 for Holycross Football Club
€66,000 for Blackcastle Templemore Harps
During the time the grants were allocated, Mr Kelly was a junior minister in the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, before being appointed as Environment Minister in 2014.
Mr Delaney, whose organisation receives millions in taxpayer funding, canvassed for Mr Kelly in Tipperary last week as they visited local football clubs.
One of the clubs the pair visited was Newport Town AFC which got €12,000 in capital grant funding in 2014.
A post on the club's Facebook page last weekend thanked Mr Delaney and Mr Kelly for their "continued support of the club's facilities".
Earlier this week, Tipperary Mid West Radio broadcast remarks made by Mr Delaney on a visit to another club in the area.
"Part of the message I'm bringing to clubs today is this Government has been very good in terms of funding," the FAI boss said.
"I've worked very closely with Alan on a number of applications in this county.
"We got a lot of successful applications for clubs," he added.
Neither Mr Kelly or Mr Delaney responded to request for comment on the sums involved.
On Tuesday, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe remarked on Mr Delaney's support for Mr Kelly saying the election should be left to "political figures".
Last night, Mr Kelly responded to the remarks. "This is probably, in my political career, the funniest story I've ever had to deal with. I've no issue with anyone canvassing," he said.
"I think the issue is to ensure that if somebody's doing so, that they do so in a private capacity rather than in their role in whatever they do.
"In a private capacity I think anybody can engage in political commentary or thought," he added.