Nenagh councillors raise concerns over future of local grants

Cllr Virginia O'Dowd

Cllr Virginia O'Dowd

Local voluntary groups and organisations around Nenagh have received grant funding from Nenagh Town Council under its annual contributions schemes.

The council granted Conradh na Gaeilge, Nenagh Ormond Brass Band, Nenagh Players, Nenagh Arts Centre and Nenagh Choral Society E1,000 each under the arts scheme.

Under its special grants scheme, it gave Nenagh Classic Car Club E500; Nenagh New Institute Snooker Club, E500; Visit Nenagh Cycle Classic, E750; Nenagh Risings, E500; Nenagh Triathlon Club, E500; Nenagh Cycling Club, E500; Nenagh Choral Society, E500; Nenagh Players, E500.

Cllr Hughie McGrath said he knew from Nenagh Ormond Brass Band that the council had “helped get them up off their knees”. The band was attracting new pupils, but the cost of buying instruments was high, with some costing up to E5,000, and the council grant was a great help.

“It is now a full marching band and performs at many local events,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cllr Virginia O’Dowd wondered what will happen to the scheme when the council is abolished after May’s local elections.

Town clerk Sarah O’Callaghan told her the funding will depend on what goes into the budget, while town manager Marcus O’Connor said: “It is hard to see that the present level will be maintained because it will be every club looking for its share. The money might become meaningless.”

Cllr O’Dowd said that this was an aspect that won’t hit home to clubs and groups until the they get a letter saying nothing was available.

“The grant scheme has encouraged groups to get involved in activities. It will be missed but we’ll only hear about that in a year’s time when it hits their pockets,” she said.


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