Donegal fared fourth worst in the country in terms of funding from the National Lottery funded capital capital sports grants, receiving only two per cent of the total €41,376,984 which was allocated in 2011.
Sligo was the clear jackpot winner last year, having been allocated €1,527,214, €23.35 per head in comparison to Donegal which was allocated a mere €5.34 per head. Waterford was allocated €15.53 per head, while Longford was allocated €14.43 per head. The Taoiseach’s home county received €14.03 per head of population in relation to the grants. The county that fared worse than any other was Meath receiving a meagre €1.51 per head.
Commenting on the figures, Deputy Pearse Doherty said: “It doesn’t come as any surprise to me that this Goverment is following the trend of the previous Government in the neglecting of Donegal. The figures in relation to the lottery grants awarded to Donegal projects show that our county is a mere afterthought when it comes to government decisions. Do Government minsters, and I include in this our own, Minister Dinny McGinley, really believe that there are no suitable projects in our county that are deserving of funding?”
Deputy Doherty added the fact that the Taoiseach’s own constituency received the highest allocation of capital sports grants last year - getting double the amount of that of Dublin city - further proves that the old system of politics has not yet changed.
“It is absolutely outrageous that this is the level of funding that Donegal receives. We had Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta in Gaoth Dobhair last weekend and we have organisations crying out, fighting for funds and now we see that this is the way in which we are being treated. It is obvious to me that we do not have a minister that can stand up for our constituency,” he said.
Lotto grants to Mayo surged by 70 per cent to €1.8 million, moving the county from ninth to fourth in the rankings of total Lottery grants paid per head of population after Mr Kenny became Taoiseach. The funding covers sports, youth, education, environment, health and Irish language projects. It jumped from the equivalent of €8.36 for every person living in Co Mayo in 2010 to €14.03 per head last year. Meanwhile, some other counties received no grants from the sports fund at all.