DONEGAL TD Pat the Cope Gallagher (FF) has expressed his shock that the Minister for Transport, Sport and Tourism has left the Finn Harps Stadium project off the government’s funding list.
This afternoon the Leas Cheann Comhairle accused the Government of false promises and failure to deliver on the project.
Last year an allocation of €304,000 was allocated in order to prepare the project for substantial works in 2020, this was directly advised by both Department Officials and Representatives of the Government.
€304,000 has been approved by the Department of Sport under the Sports Capital funding in 2019, the allocation was made to hire a design team and to prepare a bill of quantities for phase one of the project.
Deputy Gallagher said Finn Harps delivered on their end of the bargain and completed the tasks placed on them by the Department and said the Board of Finn Harps have put major effort and work into this project over the past number of years.
A major capital application was submitted for the 2020 allocation of Sports Capital Funding, the entire purpose of the funding allocation in 2019, was to prepare an application for major funding in this year’s allocation.
Deputy Gallagher said the Department clearly told Finn Harps that they wanted this project to be completed and taken off their books, but he said their words were not followed by direct action.
“The €6.7 million project is now left in limbo by the lack of commitment of this Government to deliver this much needed facility for the county, false promises were made by Government representatives in terms of delivering this project. Real concerns now exist that unless funding is committed to this project then the works already started will deteriorate and crumple on site, due to the fact of being left in an unfinished state for so long,” said Deputy Gallagher.
“There is no logic in the decision not to fund this project, works are already commenced on the stadium and a clear commitment was given that funding would be made available in 2020, but like so many Government commitments they were half hearted and piecemeal.
“I am calling on the Department to conduct a full review of this debacle on their part, and I will be requesting a meeting with the Minister as soon as the Dáil reconvenes. Finn Harps deserve better treatment from this Government, today’s decision to leave them without funding once again is a disaster.”