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Wednesday 21 March 2018

Lotto luck for James Reilly’s constituents on funding

Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

COMMUNITY groups and voluntary organisations in Health Minister James Reilly's constituency have double the chance of receiving Lottery funding compared to the national average.

Documents obtained by RTE's ‘Prime Time’ reveal repeated instances of recommendations by civil servants being overruled by the minister.

In one recommendation, a civil servant advised against the funding of €44,000 for a mini-bus in Dr Reilly's constituency, saying the group involved already had a fleet of recreational vehicles.

Five months later, the money was granted in full. The relevant document was signed with the initials ‘JR'.

In another case in the minister's constituency, an application for €10,500 by a local group was rejected by department officials.

However, six months after a civil servant suggested that a grant should not be provided, the minister approved payment for the full amount.

A spokesman for Dr Reilly said the north Dublin constituency has traditionally received less funding than its population “justifies”.

Projects in the Dublin constituency of the then Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald also had more than double the normal chance of getting funding.

Irish Independent

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