Dáil debates

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Ceisteanna ar Pholasaí nó ar Reachtaíocht - Questions on Policy or Legislation

 

1:00 pm

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)

It was a real pleasure to spend the day with the Deputy and his team in Kerry last Friday. We did not get to Kilgarvan but we did get to Castlemaine. No visit to Kerry is complete without a visit to Castlemaine.

The large-scale sport infrastructure programme is being discussed at the moment between the Departments of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Public Expenditure and Reform. We have a difficulty in that a lot of allocations were made for some really important projects around the country but very little of that funding has been drawn down so far, largely because of the increase in construction inflation. Our first priority is to try to find additional funds to get some of those projects going. The worst thing is to allocate a lot of money and then see none of it drawn down. If we can square that circle and provide additional funding to get some of those projects going, we can then open the fund up to new applicants.

Having visited Fitzgerald Stadium with Deputy Griffin, I can see there is a major need there for capital investment. Kerry is a leading county in both sport and tourism and it needs a modern, state-of-the-art stadium. We can all agree on that. I know the people of Kerry will put money on the table and be able to raise a lot of money, but they will need a bit of help from the Government too. I think that will be forthcoming in due course.

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