Sunday 18 March 2018

Sports clubs up in arms over fee hike

St Finian's Club Chairman Robbie Callanan
St Finian's Club Chairman Robbie Callanan

SPORTS clubs across the county are up in arms at hikes to pitch fees being imposed by Fingal County Council that will in some cases, double the yearly cost of using council playing fields for clubs.

Liam Howley, chairman of O'Dwyer's GAA Club, has condemned the fee hikes as 'a disgrace' and says the council are 'fleecing' local clubs.

'Obviously we have to raise more money to pay for this. In this day and age it's a disgrace and I really think the council are fleecing us here.'

He said that the club was lucky that it only used one council pitch which is across the road from its home ground which is in the ownership of the club.

But Mr Howley said that 'any hike in fees will cripple clubs' who are already paying huge fees to the county board to operate.

Robbie Callanan (pictured) who chairs St Finian's GAA Club in Swords said he was 'disappointed' with the decision to hike fees but he said the council did provide a good service to the club for the money.

'We would obviously prefer not to pay higher fees but being realistic, we do get a pretty good service for it.

'But like any club we are tight for cash these days and any money we have we would prefer to invest that in our juveniles and in helping our community ultimately so any resources we have to pay the council are removed from from the community.'

Mr Callanan, said the club's 40 teams use council pitches in the Ward River Valley and in Ridgewood and the fee hikes will double for them over a year, under the new regime.

He said the increased fees were 'regrettable' but like all its bills, the club will get on with managing its resources and pay its bills.

Fingal Independent