Christmas came early for the nation's sporting grassroots todayas the Government unveiled details of its €56m capital grants programme, writes Fergus Jayes.
More than 1,700 capital projects will benefit from the grants, including Munster Club hurling champions Na Piarsaigh, which has received €80,000 euros for floodlight installation.
The Limerick club has been reduced to working off one sand-based pitch which is in constant demand, while preparation for their fourth Munster final appearance in seven years was carried out in neighbouring lit up venues such as the Gaelic Grounds, UL and St Patricks.
26 counties were given grants and 18 of the highest funded projects in each county were for GAA Clubs.
Announcing the funding, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross said:
““This is a great day for Irish sport. Following the conclusion of budget discussions, I was delighted to secure the required additional resources to enable me to allocate €56m in total to local sports clubs and organisations throughout the country.
“The grants are also excellent news for our communities both rural and urban, as club sport is a superb way to bolster local pride, affinity and inclusion.”
The highest grant in each county was as follows:
Carlow: Slaney Rovers AFC - Patrickswell, Sports Complex (€75,000)
Cavan: Belturbet GAA Club - Install natural grass surface with walking track (€67,500)
Clare: Kilmurry Ibrickane GAA - Upgrade/Regeneration of Existing GAA Pitch (€85,000)
Cork: John A.Wood Limited Sports & Social Club - Full sized floodlit All Weather Soccer pitch (€142,000)
Donegal: Naomh Padraig Leifear GAA Club - Sand Carpet Playing Pitch & Training Pitch (€99,500)
Dublin: Ballymun Kickhams GAA Club - Renewal of All-Weather GAA Pitch (€150,000)*
*25 other teams/clubs received €150,000 of funding in Dublin also.
Galway: Kilconieron GAA Club - Kilconieron All Weather Pitch (€90,000)
Kerry: Ballydonoghue GAA - Ballydonoghue GAA Indoor Sports Facility (€70,000)
Kildare: Straffan GAA - Straffan Gaa All Weather Pitch (€108,000)
Kilkenny: DUNNAMAGGIN HURLING CLUB - Kilmoganny Pitch & Changing Rooms Development (€90,000)
Laois: Killeshin AFC - Construction of dormer Clubhouse/Dressing rooms (€78,000)
Leitrim: North Leitrim Community AmenityAssociation Ltd - Dressing room, toilets & disabled facilities development (€77,000)
Limerick: Na Piarsaigh Hurling & Football Club - Floodlighting Installation for Playing Pitch (€80,000)
Longford: Ballymore GFC - Extension incl dressing & general purpose rooms (€111,500)
Louth: Sean O'Mahonys GFC - Proposed new dressing rooms to existing GAA Club (€150,000)
Mayo: Charlestown Athletic Football Club - Building of Dressing Room (€88,000)
Meath: Carnaross Gaelic Football Club - Clubhouse extension and upgrade (€94,000)
Monaghan: Donaghmoyne GFC - GAA Club Develop Training Field to Full Size Playing Field (€56,000)
Offaly: Edenderry GAA - Artificial Playing Surface & Floodlights (€102,000)
Roscommon: Shannon Gaels GAA Club - UPGRADING EXISTING PLAYING FACILITY (€80,000)
Sligo: Sligo RFC - Re-development of Clubhouse facilities (€78,000)
Tipperary: Boherlahan Dualla Gaa Club - Synthetic Floodlit Pitch & Develop New Grass Pitch (€91,500)
Waterford: St Anne's Waterford Tennis Club - St-Anne's - Phase 1 of 3 Redevelopment (€150,000)
Westmeath: Garrycastle GAA club - All weather training pitch, fencing and lights (€95,000)
Wexford: Tara Rock Community Field Trust - Tara Rocks Community Field Trust Changing Rooms (€106,000)
Wicklow: Aughrim Street 9/10th Scout Group - GLENDALE LODGE OUTDOOR PURSUITS CENTRE (€125,000)
The full list of Government grants can be found [url=http://www.dttas.ie/sites/default/files/publications/sport/english/sports-capital-programme-2017-local-allocations/2017-scp-list-grants-publication.pdf]here[/irl].