Private School Threatened Legal Action Before Award Of €150,000 Grant

Private School Threatened Legal Action Before Award Of €150,000 Grant

The fiasco surrounding Minster for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross, fee-paying secondary school Wesley College, and the Irish government's Sports Capital Programme continues to escalate.

In mid-March, Ross congratulated the private school in question after their application for a €150,000 government grant was deemed successful by his department.

Situated within his own Dublin Rathdown constituency, many were left confused and angry that a private institution such as Wesley College had profited so handsomely from a nationwide grant scheme.

It soon became apparent that the facilitation of this private institution's application took precedence over 30 public schools across the country that found they were unsuccessful in their attempts.

A report in today's Sunday Business Post highlights that having initially had their application turned down by the department on account of their being a private school, Wesley College,

drafted a furious response, in which it warned that it might go to the courts to challenge the decision of the department's sports capital unit.

Threatening legal action on the basis that the department had never clarified that a private school could not benefit from the scheme, Wesley College were not the only institution to file complaints after being turned down initially.


In a staggering turnaround, 'Ross decided to set up the first ever appeals process to re-examine the decisions made by his own officials.'

As a result of this re-examination, Wesley College were granted their €150,000 to resurface their school's hockey pitch; this was one of three institutions in very close proximity to one another that received the maximum amount for the same purpose.

It is now understood that the department has 'recommended significant changes to reduce the chances of fee-paying schools and wealthy golf clubs getting sports capital grants again.'

So blatantly at odds with the department's stated aim to 'prioritise the needs of disadvantaged areas in the provision of sports facilities,' one can only hope that these recommendations precede genuine action.

See Also: 'We’re Sick Of Being The Nearly Team' - Galway's Redemption Starts Today

Arthur O'Dea
Article written by
From Sligo, In Dublin, To London. Will write for money, happily doing it for free. Masters Student of English in T.C.D. - until the summer runs out anyway. Appreciate feedback.

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