Kinsale Sáile Projects set for massive cash boost
BY LEO McMAHON of The Southern StarSÁILE Sports and Community Centre Project could be in line for a massive €300,000 cash boost from the coffers of Kinsale Town Council.
Subject to a satisfactory presentation by Sáile at the February meeting of the local authority and safeguards to ensure best use of the public money through the establishment of a trust, councillors at their 2014 Budget meeting on Monday expressed their willingness to allocate the money towards the centrepiece of the second phase of the project, the long sought after community sports and community centre building costing around €650,000.
‘This could be the foundation stone for the Sáile centre,’ said a delighted Mayor Tony Cierans.
Noting that Sáile itself had already raised €150,000, he added: ‘it’s now up to secret millionaires to come out of the woodwork’ when referring to the need to make an all-out bid to fund raise for the remaining sum, if the Sáile presentation is accepted and the council’s funding proposal is formally adopted at the council’s next monthly meeting.
Phase one of Sáile at Ballinacubby opened by then President Mary McAleese in 2010, includes five floodlit pay-as-you-play all-weather five-a-side football pitches, basketball and tennis courts, a community garden and orchard.
The facilities are used by many clubs and organisations in Kinsale and its rural catchment area, but an indoor centre is badly needed.
Despite various fund raising events which have been organised by the voluntary committee and the support of the county and town councils and various bodies in the locality, it has not been possible during recessionary times to obtain the necessary funding or grants to progress the second phase as quickly as it was intended.
Members of Kinsale TC, which is due to be abolished in May, were approached by the Sáile committee and town manager, Mr Andrew Hind, in his budget report said: ‘This is a very worthwhile project and one which should be supported where at all possible.
‘I have included an amount of €100,000 to be raised from the revenue budget and a further €200,000 which can be raised in the capital account which can be placed in a trust for the project.
As this is a large sum of public money, which it is proposed to give to what is essentially a private body, it is vital that certain safeguards are put in place to protect it.’
At a minimum, he advised the trust should: (1) have two signatories, one a sitting Councillor and the other from administration (manager or town clerk); (2) the money should only be paid over to a contractor for work done on construction only and not for exploratory work or professional fees; (3) the money be placed in trust for three years on the understanding construction has commenced by that time and (4) if the project hasn’t started by then, the money would revert to Cork County Council.
Mr Hind stressed that no decision could be taken nor commitment be given by the council until there was a presentation by Saile to a meeting of the local authority where the committee would outline its plans and ongoing funding proposals. Members fully agreed with this. ‘This is just the kick start it needs’, said Cllr Dermot Collins, who – along with other members – paid tribute to the mayor, the manager and acting town clerk Mr Stephen Murphy for delivering such a worthwhile proposal on a project which would be of great benefit to the community. He particularly welcomed the idea of a trust, bearing in mind it was public money, and the conditions attached.
Mayor Cierans said it was important to stress that the money it was proposed to allocate would be for bricks and mortar and thanking fellow members, officials and Sáile, added it was a great team effort.
All other members concurred, but Cllrs Fred Treacy and Tomas O’Brien urged that some money be found from the council’s funds to assist Kinsale Lions Club in its bid to proceed with a ready-to-go project for a full playground and adult exercise area at Commogue. The town clerk undertook to come back to the members on this.