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*Photograph: John Mangan

Soccer clubs in Ennis are at risk of going bust, an elected representative from the county town has warned.

As he welcomed the return of sporting training for clubs across Clare as “mighty altogether,” Cllr Mark Nestor (FF) pleaded with Clare County Council to consider lowering rental costs at local authority operated facilities such as Lees Rd and Tim Smythe Park.

Clubs that have to rent pitches twice a week have informed Cllr Nestor they are unable to meet financial costs at present with fundraising ceased for the past fifteen months. “If current costs remain as they are, clubs have told me they will go to the wall”.

His call was supported by Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) who acknowledged a need to alleviate costs. “It can be a big drain,” he said of the financial impact of renting Council owned facilities.

“It is an ongoing issue for clubs,” Chief Executive Pat Dowling acknowledged. He flagged that soccer clubs have a parent body that are more than capable to intervene. “They should be going to their parent body to ensure they are adequately resourced”. He said the Council could look at doing “something reasonable”.

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