Why are we funding private sports clubs?
2018-06-15 13:52:30 -

One major factor contributing to social exclusion in this country is the exclusivity of joining many sports clubs, and the high fees and tariffs required to join them.


Many of these clubs are built substantially on the back of the taxpayer. Yet brazen ‘new member fees’ or levies can be charged on top of hundreds of euros to join.


It seems to be that many of these clubs are virtually dormant, other than an ‘inner circle’ who use them from time to time or on specific days or nights, yet they receive capital grants from the Government, ongoing National Lottery cash, even community employment scheme labour.


The process of joining some clubs is curiously secretive. Unless recommended or proposed by an existing member, it can be all but impossible.


Tennis and golf are two sports which are notorious for such carry-on. These clubs, despite getting a fortune from the public purse over time, can harbour elite cliques who are conservative in the extreme. When these clubs get going at first they may be more open and affordable, but as soon as an establishment forms, things can change dramatically.


If we are serious about ending social exclusion: let’s stop the rot of funding snobby private clubs who are only interested in catering for their own cliques in spite of the public generosity in developing their facilities.

Maurice Fitzgerald

Shanbally, Co Cork

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