€11,500 spent trying to woo Olympians
THE Government spent close to €11,500 trying to woo international athletes to Ireland for pre-Olympic training -- only to lose out to sports facilities north of the Border whose local governments offered cash incentives,
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport spent €11,210.65 on the design and printing of 5,000 CD information packs and brochures promoting the use of Irish sports facilities available as pre-London 2012 training camps for international athletes, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal.
But the scheme fell flat after it emerged that 108 international sporting bodies had already signed agreements as early as last August with the providers of sports facilities in the UK who were offering between £25,000 and £50,000 (€32,000-€64,000) to use their facilities during training.
However, the National Aquatic Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin, was able to secure agreements with the UK waterpolo team, the US synchronised swim team and the UK paralympic swimming squad.