• Total government funding now stands at €7,056,352
Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has welcomed this morning’s announcement of an additional €3.3 million in funding to the Waterford County Board for the redevelopment of Walsh Park under the Large-Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund.
Senator Cummins said “I have consistently raised the need for an additional allocation of funding for the redevelopment of Walsh Park with both Minister Martin and Byrne in a private capacity and on the floor of the Seanad. It was clear to me from my engagement with the county board earlier this year that the allocation of €3.753 million which was granted by government in 2020 under the LSSIF was not going to be sufficient to enable the project to move on to phase two. In my opinion it is vital that the momentum and goodwill which has built up around the project is maintained. The quality of the work that has been completed to date is fantastic, but I want to see phase two commence without delay. I sincerely hope this additional allocation of €3.3 million will give the county board the confidence now to proceed with the next phase of redevelopment”.
Addressing Minister Byrne in the Seanad on 21st November Senator Cummins said “On the large-scale sport infrastructure fund, the Minister of State visited Walsh Park a few months ago and he saw first-hand the fantastic work which has been done. Since his visit, the camogie and hurling county finals took place there. There is no question it is a fantastic facility but the allocation of €3.753 million which was given in 2020 was to complete phase 1 and phase 2. The county board cut its cloth to measure in order to bring in that phase 1. I know that the Minister of State has done a body of work on additional allocations in that respect and I ask that organisations which have proceeded with works and cut their cloth to measure to ensure that they came in within budget, are not penalised now in the additional allocation. They should be allowed to avail of an additional pot of funding to enable them to move on to their phase 2, which was what was envisaged in the first place”.
Speaking following this morning’s announcement Senator Cummins said “I am delighted that organisations like the Waterford County Board who drove on with their projects are being rewarded for doing so with a significant additional allocation of funding. This was a key part of my ask over the past number of months. 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 initial allocation of €3.753 million back in 2019/20 but the level of work that could have been achieved with that allocation in 2019/20, is very different now in 2023, which is why I have been raising this matter consistently, along with my government colleagues and I am delighted it has yielded a positive result for Waterford.