Wednesday 17 October 2018

Government defends €100K grant to private school in Minister's constituency as scheme accused of 'class bias'

Transport Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Transport Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Fergal Phillips
John Downing

John Downing

Transport Minister Shane Ross “trumpeted” a €100,000 grant to a private fee-paying school in his constituency, Solidarity TD Mick Barry has told the Dáil.

“Dozens of public schools in more deprived areas failed to get a button,” Mr Barry said.

The Cork North Central TD said there was “class bias” built into the government sports grants scheme and it particularly militated against clubs which could not afford to own their own pitch and/or premises. He urged a complete overhaul of the sports grants system.

Replying for the Government, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, said the money was allocated via an independent process and Minister Ross, also responsible for sports policy, was only able to approve decisions made by officials.

Mr Coveney said the school concerned, Wesley College, had like many other schools, combined with a sports club for its application.  He said in this case the YMCA were part of the application which meant the local community could also benefit from the development.

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