Thursday 22 March 2018

TD 'glad to help' secure funding for sports club he objected to

Fine Gael’s Dublin Mid West TD Derek Keating
Fine Gael’s Dublin Mid West TD Derek Keating

Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent

A Fine Gael TD has surprised party colleagues after he appeared to claim credit for a €150,000 sports grant awarded to fund a project against which he had raised objections.

Dublin Mid West TD Derek Keating expressed concern over the development of an all-weather facility at Lucan Football Club, in his constituency.

In a submission to An Bord Pleanála, Mr Keating and his parliamentary assistant Gerry Kennedy highlighted concerns among some residents over a number of potential issues, including an increase in traffic.

Mr Kennedy is a failed local election candidate.

Documents from An Bord Pleanála stated: "Derek Keating TD/Gerry Kennedy Candidate made a submission on behalf of concerned residents from the area citing access route, traffic, opening hours, fence height, lighting, amenity, impacts."

However, the works were given the green light last week after the club secured €150,000 in funding through the latest round of Sports Capital grants administered by Minister Michael Ring.

The club had been assisted in applying for the grant by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and local Fine Gael councillor William Lavelle.

Despite expressing concerns over the development of the project with An Bord Pleanála, Mr Keating appeared to claim credit for the €150,000 grant after it was awarded.

"Congrats to Lucan United and South Dublin County Council in Sports Capital Programme 2015 to fund pitch development. As Lucan TD, Glad to help," Mr Keating said on his Twitter account.

Mr Keating insisted there is "no conflict" between making representations on behalf of residents and being fully supportive of his local club. "I do that regularly to the best of my ability, often times the local authority or An Bord Pleanála take such representations into account in an effort to reduce the impact of developments on residents in an area," he said.

Irish Independent

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