Dáil Éireann - Volume 568 - 12 June, 2003
Written Answers. - Sports Facilities.
Mr. O'Dowd Mr. O'Dowd
17. Mr. O'Dowd asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the progress to date on the provision of increased funding towards sports and leisure activities on off-shore islands, and the appointment of dedicated sports officers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14484/03]
Mr. O'Donoghue Mr. O'Donoghue
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (Mr. O'Donoghue): I understand that the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs administers funding for the development of the offshore islands.
Under my Department's national lottery-funded sports capital programme, funding is allocated to sporting and community organisations at local, regional and national level throughout the country. The programme is advertised on an annual basis. It is open to organisations on offshore islands to apply for funding under the programme if they have suitable projects. The 2003 programme was advertised in the national newspapers on 23 and 24 March 2003. The closing date for receipt of applications was 25 April. In excess of 1,300 applications were received before the  closing date, none of which were from organisations located on off-shore islands. All applications under the programme are currently being evaluated against the programme's assessment criteria, which are outlined in the guidelines, terms and conditions of the programme. I intend to announce the grant allocations for the programme as soon as possible after the assessment process has been completed.
My Department also administers the local authority swimming pool programme and the closing date for receipt of applications under the current programme was July 2000. No applications were received under the local authority swimming pool programme in respect of offshore islands.
The creation of local partnerships as envisaged by Government and the social partners in the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness was incorporated by the Irish Sports Council in its statement of strategy, 2000-02. This sets out the pathway which will be followed by the council in the creation of such partnerships as a means of creating sustainable sports development infrastructure at local level.
The Irish Sports Council, following the receipt of proposals from local bodies approved and funded the establishment of eight partnerships in May 2001 and a further four were established in early 2002. These are located in Clare, Donegal, Fingal, Kildare, Laois, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary North, Cork, Limerick, Meath and Waterford.
Offshore islands can avail of the supports from the local sports partnerships established in their counties. The Sports Council has carried out a review of the existing partnerships. This review is now being examined in my Department and the question of approving additional partnerships will be addressed as part of that examination.
Dáil Éireann 568 Written Answers. Sports Facilities.