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Has Clare soccer been left out in the cold?


CLARE County Council has denied it has declined to help the Clare & District Soccer League (CDSL) after complaints about the level of funding it has received.
In an extensive statement, CDSL said that it has been overlooked in both 2023 and 2024.
“Last year in the Community Recognition Grants Clare Soccer received 0.47% of the fund. This is less than 1% of the money provided by the Department of Rural and Community Development for communities in Clare to help and assist the Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection and/or International Protection Applicants and Ukrainians.”
It said that all of Clare soccer got around 10% of the amount allocated to a street lighting project at Ballyalla, €132,500 compared to €13,000 for the sport.
CDSL also claimed that it had applied for over €350,000 but its projects were not put on a shortlist compiled by councillors to be submitted to the Department of Rural and Community Affairs.
The CDSL also claimed that it had not received the level of support it deserved in 2024. “This year in the Community Recognition Grants Clare Soccer received 3.8% of the funds for communities in Clare. Funds assigned by government to help and assist the Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection and/or International Protection Applicants and Ukrainians. We demonstrated to Clare County Council and the elected Clare County Councillors that soccer is the game that the Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection and/or International Protection Applicants and Ukrainians want to play.
“We even informed them that the UN itself has recognised Soccer as the World Game for supporting these people.”
It claimed that Clare GAA clubs had done much better. ” It appears that Clare GAA got in and around 40% of the funds compared to soccer’s 3.8%.”
The CDSL said that the council had advised it to apply for Sports Capital Grants instead.
“According to Clare County Council, that is where soccer needs to apply, not to Clare County Council,” they said.
“Clare County Council can award themselves €140,000 to upgrade the surface of the running track in Tim Smyth Park while refusing the Clare Soccer application for three projects in the County Grounds amounting to approximately €480,000 on the grounds that we should be applying to ‘Sports Capital Grants.’ The question could be asked as to why Clare County Council didn’t make an application to Sports Capital themselves, or for the same reason can the question be asked:
“Why didn’t Clare County Council refer Michael Cusack’s GAA or Wolfe Tones GAA or St Senan’s RFC or Clarecastle GAA to apply to Sports Capital Grants?
“Clare and District Soccer League do not in any way begrudge any of these excellent groups on receiving, or being shortlisted for funding.
“We just ask why is soccer the game that is repeatedly excluded by Clare County Council?”
In a statement to The Clare Champion, Clare County Council denied that it had mistreated the CDSL, and that an objective process was followed. “We appreciate the opportunity to address the concerns raised by the Clare District Soccer League (CDSL) regarding the Community Recognition Fund applications for 2023 and 2024.
“Under the Community Recognition Fund 2024, Clare County Council was allocated funding of €2,608,408 for projects across 22 eligible towns/villages. Selection of the projects to be submitted to the Department of Rural and Community Development for funding consideration was a competitive process,2 said a spokesperson.
“Sixty Expressions of Interest were received from a wide range of groups, and due to the limited availability of funds, a shortlisting process was required meaning that not all submitted projects could go forward as part of the funding proposal to the Department of Rural and Community Development. Twenty one projects were shortlisted and have been included in the Funding Proposal submitted to the Department of Rural and Community Development and the decision to fund any or all of these projects rests with the Department. Projects shortlisted range from playgrounds, community centres, park enhancements, walking tracks and works at sporting facilities, including GAA, soccer, rugby and cricket facilities. The wide range of projects shortlisted demonstrates the Council’s commitment to supporting a diverse range of community projects.”

Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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