€41m grant bonanza for 900 grassroots sports clubs
More than €41m has been allocated to almost 900 sports organisations, clubs, projects and facilities across the country.
Grassroots GAA, soccer, rugby, boxing and athletics clubs nationwide will be among those to benefit from the funding from the sports capital programme for 2015.
Sports Minister Michael Ring said the programme ensured that as many clubs and organisations as possible had the facilities and equipment they needed to allow the maximum number of people to get involved in a wide variety of sports.
"In addition to funding being provided to organisations such as the GAA, soccer, rugby, boxing and athletics, I am also funding equipment and facilities for more than 40 sports ranging from angling to weight lifting and a whole host in between," he said.
Investment will be made in projects from archery to triathlon clubs, he added. The figure is up slightly on last year's funding of €40.5m and will result in the GAA, FAI and IRFU being the chief beneficiaries.
The FAI was given a €5m boost in direct funding, which does not include allocations for football projects which were applied for by local authorities or community organisations.
The big winners were Salthill Devon FC, Limerick FC and Athlone Town FC, who all received €200,000 each.
Dublin received the largest overall allocation of funding, getting €6.43m, with Cork allocated €4.52m.
The commuter belt counties also did well with Meath (€1.84m), Kildare (€1.66m), Louth (€1.30m) and Wicklow (€1m) receiving substantial investment.
In the west of the country several counties will benefit, including Galway (€2.32m), Clare (€1.27m) and Limerick(€1,26m). The Minister's own constituency, Mayo, was awarded €1.3m in funding.
"As with previous years, allocations were made to counties in the fairest way possible; based on their population," Minister Ring added.
"A system was introduced by me, on first coming to office, which saw any unused money which resulted from counties not having enough valid projects to take funds allocated to them, being distributed to counties which had historically received below-average per capita funding."