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Shane Ross Overlooked 30 Public Schools In Favour Of Fee-Paying College

Shane Ross Overlooked 30 Public Schools In Favour Of Fee-Paying College

Little over a week ago, Minister for Sport Shane Ross celebrated a combined €450,000 that had been awarded by his department's Sports Capital Programme to three organisations within his constituency.

Each awarded €150,000 for the resurfacing of hockey pitches, that the three bodies in question (Wesley College, Loreto Beaufort and Three Rock Rovers Hockey Club) are within a short drive of each other irritated many who could not fathom why a relatively niche sport was being funded so heavily.

Factor in the fee-paying nature of a school like Wesley College, and questions were asked as to why such an institution was being subsidised in this manner by a government body.

In today's Sunday Business Post, it has been reported that in order to facilitate these grants, Ross' department overlooked as many as 30 public schools beforehand.

Citing the departmental records of the bidding process, it was confirmed "that there was intense competition between schools around the country for the sports capital grants for new facilities."

Of the 48 applications received, 30 from public schools were rejected; along with 3 from fee-paying schools.

According to the article, some of the following were not deemed worthy of funding by Ross' department:

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Tallaght Community School in Dublin, which wanted €107,000 for a five-a-side all-weather pitch; St. Mary's Secondary School in Edenderry, Co Offaly, which failed in its application for €92,000 for a multi-sport playing pitch; St Clare's College in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, which requeted €103,000 for a playing field; and Scoil Mhuire Community College in Clane, Co Kildare, which wanted €150,000 for an athletics track.

Having initially had their request denied, Wesley College received assistance from a number of politicians in their subsequent, successful appeal; Fine Gael senator Neale Richmond among them.

The college also extended it's thanks to Minster Ross himself for "the support" he had offered them during this process.

With many feeling that the department's decision to fund Ross' constituency so generously reflects the Minster's attempts at securing his political future within the area, a spokesperson for the department has declared that "Minister Ross had no role in the appeals process, other than to approve the monetary allocation proposed by officials."

See Also: The British Media Reaction To Ireland Winning The Grand Slam

Arthur James O'Dea

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