Thursday, 22 September 2022
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
Tim Lombard (Fine Gael)
In the run-up to the budget there has been a lot of talk about cost-of-living measures and what is going to be required, particularly in the context of energy, to make sure that households and industries are sustainable going forward. In that context, I would like to raise the issue of our sporting clubs. The cost of running sports complexes has increased dramatically in the last 18 months. Obviously there are the normal running costs pertaining to sports halls but some sports complexes are of such a magnitude and nature that they cost an awful lot to run. A sporting complex in Bandon which had running costs of around €3,500 last year has seen these increase to over €12,000 this year. The running costs of sporting clubs are traditionally met through lottery funding. I am referring to lotteries run by the clubs themselves rather than grants from the State. In the context of the energy crisis, special measures must be put in place to make sure that sporting clubs are sustainable. We need to take care of householders and industries but we also need to make sure that grants are made available to voluntary sporting organisations that are effectively funded by their members. I am referring to our local GAA, soccer, basketball clubs and so on. They all use energy and are going to be affected by increasing energy costs so we need to do something special for them. If we do not do that, the members will have to pay more through weekly lotteries, draws and so on. An additional €9,000 in costs for a relatively small sports complex is really significant. We must think outside the box when designing measures to address energy bills.