Mid Ulster gets third less funding for Gaelic sports than west Tyrone

Limerick  take on Cork in the Munster minor football championship in the Gaelic Grounds on Wednesday night

Limerick take on Cork in the Munster minor football championship in the Gaelic Grounds on Wednesday night

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There are clear winners and losers in funding for Gaelic sports within Tyrone, with the government appearing to favour the west of the county.

The lion’s share of grassroots funding for GAA in the county goes to Strabane and Omagh District Councils, which together receive almost three times more than Cookstown and Dungannon Councils.

Cookstown, as the lead council in the new Mid Ulster area, was allocated just £785,000

Figures for the funding, which supports local schools and clubs, were revealed last week by the Department of Culture, Arts, and Leisure at the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The financial awards are allocated under the department’s Active Communities Programme to the lead councils in each of the new super council areas.

Omagh has received £855,000 and Strabane an astounding £1.4m, while Cookstown, as the lead council in the new Mid Ulster area, was allocated just £785,000.

Across Northern Ireland, the Mid Ulster area of Dungannon, Cookstown and Magherafelt appears to be getting one of the smallest slices of the funding, with only Limavady (£625,00) and North Down (£684,000) getting less support.

Belfast (£2.7m) and Down (£1.1m) get the greatest portion of the funding, followed by Craigavon (£950,000), Castlereagh (£882,000) and Armagh (£864,000).

A spokesperson for the department said it was not always possible to assign an investment to a particular area.

“In some cases, grant is made available to UCGAA centrally for work across the north,” they explained.

“This applies, for example, to Investing in Performance Sport grant and to investment in PETPSE programmes.

“In addition, awards made by SportNI under the Active Communities Programme are allocated between 11 groups of District Councils, representing the new District Council Areas.

“These awards are recorded in the annex with reference to the location of the lead District Council in each group but all 26 District Councils deliver the programme across all counties.”