Government has broken promises made to Finn Harps – Cope

A Donegal TD claims a major sporting development in the county has been left in Limbo following the announcement of the first round of the government’s Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund.
€77 million has been allocated today, but Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher is accusing Sports Minister Shane Ross and his department of reneging on a commitment to deliver the next phase of the Finn Harps stadium in Ballybofey.
Deputy says money was allocated last year to prepare for substantial works in 2020, and work was carried by Finn Harps out on the advice of department officials and government representatives.
He says the situation must be resolved……….

Statement in full –
Finn Harps Stadium left off Government Funding list – Pat the Cope.
– Government accused of false promises and failure to deliver –
-Last years funding was to lead to major capital spend in 2020 –
Pat the Cope Gallagher Leas Cheann Comhairle is shocked that the Minister for Transport, Sport and Tourism has totally reneged on his commitment to deliver the next phase of the Finn Harps Stadium. 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. Finn Harps delivered on their end of the bargain and completed the tasks placed on them by the Department. The Board of Finn Harps have put major effort and work into this project over the past number of years and none more so that in the past twelve months in preparation for this years funding stated Pat the Cope.
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. The Department clearly told Finn Harps that they wanted this project to be completed and taken off their books, but their words were not followed by direct action or the political will to deliver the project for Donegal added Pat the Cope.
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. 
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 – given only to get over the moment while no follow on or  real delivery was intended on their  stated Pat the Cope.
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 concluded Pat the Cope.


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