Taoiseach's turf tops for Gathering grants
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny's home county of Mayo has been given almost twice as many grants for The Gathering than its nearest rival – although it is not getting any more money.
Instead, officials insist a state allocation given to each council for The Gathering is simply being divided up among more events in Mayo.
They are putting it down to increased enthusiasm among people in Mayo for the year-long festival, which is designed to boost tourism.
Michael Ring, the junior minister for tourism and sport, also from Mayo, said the money provided by the State was divided equally among all councils.
He also said there was no political interference or lobbying involved in how the grants were distributed.
Every council was given €30,000 by The Gathering to divvy up among local community-based events.
Mayo County Council added its own €30,000 to the money given to it by The Gathering, and is splitting the cash among 112 small events.
Its nearest rival, Clare County Council, is splitting its money among 64 events, while South Dublin County Council has the smallest number of events with just 12. A total of €2m was allocated to local communities.