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Cllrs back €250,000 for Salthill-Knocknacarra GAA club


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Cllrs back €250,000 for Salthill-Knocknacarra GAA club Cllrs back €250,000 for Salthill-Knocknacarra GAA club

City Councillors have backed a proposal for to commit €250,000 to club facilities for Salthill Knocknacarra GAA club – but the decision will ultimately be left to the new Council following June’s local elections.

A motion from Peter Keane (FF), proposing that €50,000 be set aside annually for the club over the next five years, received unanimous support from the current crop of councillors.

Cllr Keane told a meeting of the local authority that he was putting the motion forward as similar moves had been made for various other sports facilities in recent times, such as those at Drom and Cappagh Park.

“This club is one of the biggest in the country with over 2,800 members across four codes.

“I think we should give a commitment, insofar as we can at this point. It may be suggested that this is premature but if nothing else, it is a commitment – a sign that this Council stands foursquare with sporting clubs in the city,” he said.

The money would go towards the improvement of facilities at the Prairie on Dr Mannix Road, including the development of a 4G astro pitch and the erection of floodlights.

Cllr Donal Lyons (Ind), who seconded the motion, said the club needed these facilities as its numbers continued to grow.

“The initial project is at the Áras; I am hopeful that we will later see plans for the Mincloon area progressed,” he said, referring to SKGAA’s proposal to develop a series of pitches at lands in the Rahoon area.

These plans attracted criticism from St Michael’s and Rahoon-Newcastle last year, with accusations that the proposals ‘violated’ the respect for parish catchment areas in GAA.

Cllr Clodagh Higgins (FG) said supporting the motion was a sign that the City Council supported “youths” by providing much-needed facilities for recreation, while Cllr Níall McNelis also voiced his support.

Director of Finance at City Hall, Helen Kilroy, said while councillors could support the motion, a decision could only be made as part of budget deliberations which usually conclude in November.

“It would be up to the sitting councillors at that time,” she said. “Over the last number of years, our budgets have been extremely tight.”

Acting Director of Services Dermot Mahon said other funding streams were available to the club in the more immediate term, in particular the Community Recognition Fund, which was available to communities where accommodation centres for asylum seekers have been located.

“Salthill should benefit from that fund. It must be ringfenced for communities that have accommodation centres located in them,” said Mr Mahon, noting that SKGAA was in the process of making an application.

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