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Labour Calls For Playing Fields In Each Local Authority

File image: Bernard Geraghty via @KildareGAA/Twitter

Senator Mark Wall has said every town over 5,000 should have a sports playing field

Labour sports spokesperson Mark Wall has called on Government to introduce playing fields in each local authority municipality.

Senator Wall said:“There is an urgent need for local authorities to identify land in every town plan throughout the country in respect of sports facilities. More and more sports clubs are coming to the maximum amount of usage of their current facilities.

"It is Labour’s belief that there should be such a facility in every town with a population above 5,000," he insisted

“For example, in Athy, Kildare County Council have zoned 13 acres for this purpose in the town. While it now is subject to a housing development commencement, unfortunately for some clubs in the town, time is not on their side.

"This is a huge issue in Kildare where the Kildare Camogie team has 250 players without a pitch to train on.

“I’ve no doubt that this is replicated across the country. Sport is the lifeblood of communities nationwide. We need to see serious action from the Minister on this to ensure that sports can be embedded in communities.

“There's a need to ask now because, as we were told by the Uachtarán of the GAA only last week, facilities are now at a maximum and are going to run out very quickly.

"Sports clubs are telling us that there are huge issues locally in terms of having enough facilities for people to play sports and games in their community.

“While I note that the Sports Council of Ireland are carrying out a review into the regional spread, and dearth, of community sports facilities, we need to have a commitment now from the Minister that funds will be made available to local communities for this.

“Ensuring high quality playing pitches in communities nationwide would go a long way to encourage diversity, gender equality and inclusion within local towns and villages. We can’t underestimate the impact that sports have on fostering positive experiences for people," he added.

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