Government defends €20m grant to Connacht; IRFU may not have funded project, TD claims

Government defends €20m grant to Connacht;  IRFU may not have funded project, TD claims
A general view of the Sportsground prior to the Heineken Challenge Cup match between Connacht and Sale Sharks last weekend. Picture: Harry Murphy / Sportsfile

The government allocated €20m to Connacht Rugby for the development of a new stadium because they weren't sure the IRFU would fund the project.

Galway West TD Seán Kyne says they were not confident of securing funding from the IRFU for the redevelopment of the Sportsground, as it was not a priority for the IRFU.

Questions are being raised after the government last week gave €20m to Connacht Rugby for a new stadium, because they weren't sure the IRFU would fund the project.

The Government last week approved funding of €10m in sports grants for Connacht, and then topped it up with an additional €10m, over and above the Department of Sport's spending limits.

Fine Gael TD Seán Kyne is defending the grant allocation for Connacht:

"I know what has been funded in my own area and I can justify those based on the rankings that were achieved," he outlined to Off The Ball.

Seán Kyne
Seán Kyne

"Yes, there are disappointed people that didn't get funding, but they had projects that scored lower than, for example, Connacht rugby.

"I think they ranked this as the number two project, after the RDS. I couldn't be sure that the IRFU could give a (financial) commitment," he added


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