*Locked sporting grounds. Photograph: John Mangan
Sporting organisations in Co Clare will be able to avail of a new funding package announced by the Government to help restart activity following COVID-19.
€70m has been set aside to help sporting clubs across the country get back in action in the aftermath of the global pandemic. €40m will be split between the GAA, the FAI and the IRFU, €15m is earmarked for clubs in need of assistance to avoid closing and €5m in a restart and renewal grant for clubs to try cope with the impact of COVID-19.
Engagement will now occur between Sport Ireland and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to design the grant schemes. An open invitation will then be announced for applications from funded bodies.
Deputy Joe Carey (FG) felt it was a positive announcement for organisations in the county. “This is great news for clubs and organisations in Clare who need help to get back up and running again after this enforced period of inaction. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious financial impact on the sports we all love, due to a huge loss of revenue from the cancellation of games and competitions.
“Sport of all kinds is so important to the health and wellbeing of people all across Clare as well as serving to bind our communities together,” he added.
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin (FG) said the announcement was “the most important day for sport in this country during my time in this office”. He said the move came in response to “loud calls” from sporting bodies for support.
“Despite all of the challenges, it is heartening to see that so many people have recognised the importance of staying active during the Covid-19 crisis. We are now seeing more adults than ever actively participating in sport, with huge numbers having taken up cycling, running and recreational walking”.