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Clare may be used as pilot in Sport Ireland facilities audit

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*Tim Smythe Park. Photograph: Clare County Council

Clare is in line to be trialled as a pilot in an audit of facilities to be carried out by Sport Ireland.

A meeting of the Clare Sports Partnership (CSP) at the end of November heard that Clare is to be put forward as a potential pilot in the National Database of Sports & Recreation Amenities’ which is being led by Sport Ireland. Selected areas will be assessed in 2020.

At the December meeting of Clare County Council, a joint motion from Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG), Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) and Cllr Ann Norton (IND) urged the local authority to partner with CSP to boost the county’s chances of being chosen for the facilities audit.

Directors of Service, Leonard Cleary and Anne Haugh were in favour of the proposal. “A partnership between bodies will demonstrate commitment and willingness to lead and to identify and catalogue all sport and recreation amenities in the County. This database will potentially identify gaps in opportunity for participation in sport due to lack of local amenities and will facilitate a more focused approach to groups/clubs in the pursuit of grant aid for projects”.

Cllr Garrihy said he was “glad” with the Council’s response, the Lisdoonvarna representative in October called for a financial audit of all sporting facilities in the county to be conducted.

“An audit of facilities is certainly needed because in some cases there is a duplication of facilities in certain areas. Clare Panthers Hockey Club are looking for a hall,” Cllr Killeen highlighted. “It would point out a deficiency and where things could be improved,” he said of the audit.

It opened up “a very good opportunity”, Cllr Norton felt. “I’m not surprised because Clare County Council has worked very well with Clare Sports Partnershop over the years. This is an opportunity for Clare to see what facilities are available on the ground and to showcase the facilities and see who is using them”.

Chief Executive, Pat Dowling told the meeting that he was once involved in working with the previous Sports Council alongside John Treacy twenty years ago. “Clare County Council is a very welcoming family and I would encourage all these groups to come join our family into the future so we’re operating together and not in separate ways”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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