Monday 23 October 2017

€5.9m investment key to Dublin’s drive for success

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Dublin GAA has benefited from €5.9m of State funding over the last six years as part of a special programme between the Irish Sports Council and the association.

As the city gears up for five All-Ireland semi-finals in mainstream Gaelic games competitions over the next three weeks, the spin-off from such a large tranche of State money is clearly paying dividends.

The Sports Council provided €3.156m in funding to the GAA in 2010 and of that, some €950,000 went directly to Dublin for development aimed at greater participation.

With the city's minor hurling and football teams in All-Ireland semi-finals, joining their seniors at the same stage -- and the U-21 hurlers also waiting for a semi-final -- the distribution of that money will not be lost on rival counties.

The scheme to provide extra finance for Dublin commenced in 2005 under the presidency of Sean Kelly because of concerns over participation levels in the capital. There was agreement at the time that the GAA must pour more resources into Gaelic games in the city and the Sports Council were happy to play a role.

For the Sports Council and Dublin, it would appear that the money has been well spent as their very own 'drive for five' cranks up this weekend.

For the first four years of the scheme, Dublin received €1m through the GAA from Sports Council funding to meet the challenges of participation in such a large population.

Hurling has benefited enormously from that funding and the success of the game in the city across all levels points to the success of the scheme.

Over the first four years, the fund was €1m but that has been cut by €50,000 over each of the last two years.

A hurling development scheme to cover national and regional projects in all counties has been grant-aided to the tune of €6m over five years.

Colm Keys charts the rise of Dublin hurling throughout the city and how it's been a case of money well spent

Irish Independent

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