Speaking in Seanad Eireann, Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins called for the Waterford County Board to be given an additional allocation of funding under the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure fund in light of construction inflation associated with Phase one of the redevelopment.
Senator Cummins said “the large scale sports infrastructure fund was introduced in 2018 to support larger national governing bodies and regional projects. In my own county of Waterford, the county board received €3.753 million in 2019 for the redevelopment of Walsh Park. Fantastic work has been done there in terms of phase one of that redevelopment, however, it is my understanding that many of these larger scale projects have come in significantly more than what they were originally budgeted for due to construction inflation. I understand that each large scale project promoter was asked to send in the additional costs incurred recently.”
He went on to say “I am seeking an early announcement allocating additional funding for all these larger scale infrastructure projects. It is very important that the Waterford County board can continue to phase two of the redevelopment of Walsh Park and build on the momentum created in phase one. It was great to be able to have the senior hurling and camogie finals held there in recent weeks. The stadium is looking really well and great credit must go to all involved.
He concluded by saying “For projects such as Walsh Park to move forward, an additional allocation will be needed in light of the increased costs”.
Minister Chambers and Minister Byrne have visited Walsh Park in recent times to see first hand the work that was underway. Senator Cummins said “There are several of the larger scale sports infrastructure projects which haven’t progressed heretofore for various reasons. The fact that the Waterford County board have delivered phase one of the redevelopment of Walsh Park in the midst of construction inflation is highly commendable but I want to see the momentum and goodwill generated continue now into phase two. I know my former Fine Gael colleague Paudie Coffey was instrumental in the allocation of €3.753 million back in 2019 but the level of work that could have been achieved with that allocation in 2019, is very different now in 2023, which is why I raised the need for an additional allocation in the Seanad”.