NEW STADIUM PROJECT

Funding impasse at Harps' new stadium

Minister won't give any more commitments on funding

Tom Comack

Reporter:

Tom Comack

Email:

sport@donegaldemocrat.com

Funding impasse at Harps' new stadium

Minister of State, Patrick O'Donovan meets Harps officials at the site of the new stadium this week.

Finn Harps’ new stadium development project at Stranorlar is at an ‘impasse’ when it comes to receiving further government funding.
This was the clear message this week from the government minister responsible for the granting of that funding.
Minister of State at the Department of Tourism and Sport, Patrick O'Donovan, was in Donegal earlier this week and he met Finn Harps officials at the site of the new development on Tuesday.
Speaking to the Democrat afterwards, the Minister said he had a very positive meeting with the Harps officials.
However, he stressed that he was also conscious that ‘a considerable amount of public money’ was already spent on the development.
And he also pointed out that the department were working within certain constraints in relation to the amount of money they had to distribute.
He also emphasised that there were competing demands on the sports budget from other projects in Donegal and elsewhere.
“We are at an impasse really in that we have a quarter finished stadium here and something is going to have to happen with it,” said Minister O'Donovan, who would not be drawn on the specific amount of funding granted towards the project to date.
However, the Democrat has learned that the development has so far received in the region of €1 million.
At Tuesday’s meeting with club officials, the Minister said he made it very clear that he was giving no further commitments.
He said the club officials accepted this and understood that he and the department were working within certain constraints.
“They are very pleased that I have instructed my officials in the department to work with them,” Minister O'Donovan said.
The Minister insisted his officials were working with the club and it was his and the department’s wish to see the stadium completed.
Club spokesperson Aidan Campbell said Tuesday’s meeting with the Minister was very positive. He also stated the club welcomed the Minister’s commitment to having his officials hold further discussion with them to move the project forward.