Where's OUR grant money minister?



LISTOWEL sports clubs are outraged after they were completely overlooked in the latest allocation of sports captial grants.

Most of the Kerry grants went to clubs in north Kerry, with only two clubs outside of the constituency benefitting. However, sports clubs in Listowel, which say they are struggling to cater for the town's population of 4,000, didn't get a cent.

The town, in Minister Jimmy Deenihan's backyard, is bitterly disappointed with the announcement and is struggling to understand how it could have been overlooked when villages fared better.

Duagh Sports and Leisure Complex fared best of all - as one of the highest recipients in the entire country - receiving €200,000 to progress the construction of the local sports and leisure complex.

Grant applications were made by Listowel Community Centre and jointly by Listowel Emmets GAA Club, Listowel Rugby Club and Na Fianna Soccer Club. Each say they are struggling to provide proper facilities for their many members. THERE is outrage among sporting organisations in Listowel after the town was completely overlooked by the State's National Lottery grant aid allocations.

Despite the fact that north Kerry received the lion's share of the funding within the county, the town of Listowel - the single biggest urban area outside of Tralee within the constituency - didn't get a single cent.

The village of Duagh, meanwhile, received €200,000 to complete the building of its Sports and Leisure Complex in an allocation that was greeted with delight by the committee overseeing the project.

But the mood in Listowel is one of anger this week, among organisations which had applied for assistance for projects they say are vital to alleviating the massive demand they face in providing for the town's population of 4,000 people.

Listowel Emmets' GAA club, the Listowel Rugby Club and Na Fianna soccer club submitted a joint application under the auspices of Listowel Town Council for changing rooms and major drainage works on pitches in the town part.

Listowel Emmets Chairman and Fine Gael town councillor Mikey Kennelly said the mood among the club is one of 'complete and utter disappointment'.

"We need more space and the project is to cover the whole town. We're trying to look after a couple of thousand of people and the fact we haven't received a single penny in the home town of the minister, where his consituency office is based, is completely disappointing. We can't understand it," he said.

Listowel Community Centre, meanwhile, applied for funding to renovate its ageing building but was also unsuccessful.

"Listowel is the biggest town in north Kerry with a population of 4,000 and we haven't received a single penny, it's extremely disappointing," Community Centre manager Tony Duggan said. "If only we got enough money to progress on a stage-by-stage basis we would be happy, but we haven't gotten a penny."

The centre is already forced to store equipment in transport containers and has no wheelchair access to its gym upstairs.

Listowel Rugby Club, meanwhile, are training indoors during the winter in an equestrian centre as the pitches in the town park are too water- logged. Their joint-application also provides for major drainage work on the town park.

"It doesn't make any sense and we're very angry in the club," President Andy Smith said. "We've 160 youngsters and they don't have proper facilities at all. Our application along with the Emmets and Na Fianna was a model of its kind, a multi- organisational one with the backing of all the town's schools. It is extremely disappointing."

Committe members of the Duagh Sports and Leisure Complex signalled their delight with the allocation of €200,000. Fr Pat Moore and Tommy Healy said the money should see the centre approach completion by the end of next year.

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