Dáil Éireann - Volume 677 - 05 March, 2009

Written Answers. - Sports Capital Programme.

Deputy Paul Gogarty asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism further to a previous parliamentary question by this Deputy of 8 January 2009, if his attention has been drawn to the merits of the roll-over request by a club (details supplied) in County Dublin; if the club will be facilitated with this request in view of the circumstances outside its control; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9399/09]

  Deputy Martin Cullen: The club in question was allocated €250,000 under the sports capital programme 2007. Under the terms and conditions of the programme, a “sunset clause” provision exists whereby the Department can fully or partially withdraw grants in the absence of satisfactory progress being made by the grantee, for any reason, in drawing down the grant. In addition, the terms and conditions require the execution of a Deed of Covenant and Charge for allocations above a specified threshold. A Deed provides, inter alia, for a refund of the grant in the event of the facility not continuing to be used for the purpose for which the grant was allocated and is intended to protect the taxpayers’ investment in the project.

Arising from difficulties with the title to the site of the facility that was the subject of the 2007 provisional allocation, the club has not progressed the payment of the grant and has recently sought to transfer the allocation to an alternative site. The position routinely applied by the Department heretofore is that when a club changes site, any grants to the original site fall as the grant application has been assessed on the basis of the original location.

Notwithstanding the above, my Department is prepared to examine the request from the grantee in question to transfer a grant allocated under the programme to an alternative site. My Department wrote to the club on 13 February 2009 specifying the documentation required to fully consider such an application. A response to that letter is currently awaited.

In recognition of the difficult position faced by the club in progressing the project, the deadline from which monies can be drawn down will also be extended. However, it is important that the club respond to the letter of 13 February and keep my Department informed of ongoing developments. Grants cannot be held open indefinitely and every effort should be made to progress projects as speedily as possible.