Following on from his expose of Neighbourhood Renewal Funding enriching Lurgan Golf Club, TUV leader Jim Allister has published an Assembly answer detailing the entire spend from the Fund under DUP ministers since May 2011.
The fund is supposed to target deprivation and disadvantage in areas of high socio-economic need, but in the view of Mr Allister it is being squandered on many undeserving projects, including:
* £1,064,546.17 on GAA clubs, with £273,000 spent on one club alone in Strabane, Strabane Sigerson’s Club;
* £1,134,100.33 on Irish language groups;
* £138,997.78 on a republican ex-prisoners group, Tar Anall;
* £83,176.18 on the Bloody Sunday Trust;
* £259,087.93 on serial Orange march protestors, Carrick Hill Residents Association;
* £231,681.00 on LGBT projects, including £170,000 to support the Strabane & Lifford LGBT group alone, and annual subventions to Belfast Pride.
Commenting Jim Allister said, “With so many areas needing real help to tackle deprivation, I am angered to find so much money, supposedly for tackling disadvantage, is being squandered on such irrelevant projects. This extravagant feting of GAA clubs, Irish language groups, ex-prisoners groups and LGBT campaigners is all the more surprising considering it is happening under DUP ministers at DSD. It seems the Sinn Fein wish list is not as disdained as some would like to pretend. Perhaps, Mr Gregory Campbell should have a word with his ministerial colleagues.
“Why should taxpayers be pouring millions into the GAA, Irish language groups and LGBT activists in the name of tackling economic and social deprivation? They shouldn’t be and, thus, I’m calling on Mervyn Storey to call a halt to this squander and establish an investigative inquiry inside DSD into how for years, under his party’s watch, such waste has been rampant.
“This is not something which can be blamed on reckless direct rule ministers, this is what is happening within a department run by the DUP! It is time for Minister Storey to act.”
The relevant Qs and As can be viewed here:-