‘Deprivation’ fund gives grant of £350,000 to Lurgan Golf Club

Another cracking exposé by the one man opposition that is Jim Allister.

The Department of Social Development gave a grant of  £350,000 to Lurgan Golf Club under its ‘Neighbourhood Renewal’ scheme. It gets even better. A member of the club, who is a senior official in DSD, was involved in processing the application. But he failed to disclose his interest, contrary to departmental guidance on conflicts of interest.

Jim Allister said:

“The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund exists, surely, to regenerate and help deprived areas, not to build facilities for private member golf clubs? Bad enough that at a time when the Executive is broke, £350,000 is directed to providing new facilities for a private members club, but, to discover that a member of that club was involved, as an official in the grant-aiding government department, in processing the application, then, there is even more to be explained by the minister about this project.

“The minister has confirmed to me that the official failed to declare his interest. But, what happens now, will discipline follow and what if it turns out the funding, which has already been paid out, should never have been granted? And, just how prevalent is it within funding departments that relevant declarations of interest are not being declared?”


  • Zeno3

    Was it Nelson Mc Causland again? Mervyn Story took over in September.

  • chrisjones2

    Love the DSD response that a committee decided it so it’s ok.

    No its bloody not. This is why Stormont needs a huge budget cut to shock these bozos into action and us voters into not voting for people who cannot walk and talk at the same time

  • Superfluous

    If this is true someone should go to prison…

  • Niall Chapman

    Jim Allister is the antithesis to my viewpoint when it comes to equality issues, immigration, marches, Nationalism etc, but fair play to him for digging this up

  • chrisjones2

    What MLAs are members? If any?

  • barnshee

    The tip of an iceberg?

  • Nevin

    The DSD minister provided some background on his department’s funding in the sports’ arena back on March 20, 2014:

    “My Department does not have specific funding for Sport. However, through its Neighbourhood Renewal Programme, Volunteering Strategy and Modernisation Fund Capital Programme it recognises the valuable contribution sport can make in areas of deprivation by supporting a range of projects that promote physical activity. Sport can make a valuable contribution not only in delivering key outcomes of lower long-term unemployment, less crime, reductions in anti social behaviour, better health and improved educational attainment.It can also help to develop the individual pride, community spirit and capacity within these area as well as having long term economic benefits in relation to reduced health care costs and increased productivity.

    My Department supports a range of projects and programmes that promote participation in sport and physical activity for example ‘Sport in the Community’ project which is operated in partnership by the IFA, GAA and IRFU to the refurbishment/ development of community sports facilities and the provision of sports equipment.”

  • Comrade Stalin

    I have some minor experience with the neighbourhood renewal scheme and the challenges faced by poor communities raising money. And this DSD is directing nearly half a million quid for a private golf club while mixed estates can’t get funding for a playpark ? The fact that a DSD official is in the middle of it is the second insult.

    I don’t like Jim Allister, but boy, at this point the man is pretty much indispensable; at least someone is shining a light on this corruption. Without his efforts would this ever have come out ?

  • Jag

    Always was the most effective politician in the Assembly without executive powers (which he wouldn’t accept anyway as it would involve governing alongside undesirables in SF). He has also been the most effective in doggedly pursuing the Turkington/Red Sky issues. No wonder Sammy Wilson accused poor Jimbo of being a thug at a committee hearing last month, which led to the hearing being suspended (which was probably what Sammy was aiming for, you don’t want Jimbo’s gimlet eye examining events you’d prefer to keep quiet).

    Look forward to this controversy continuing next week.

  • Dan

    Why wasn’t Wilson suspended for a month for his despicable attack?

  • Might be worth looking too at SPADs’ outside interests. Is there any potential for conflict?

  • Gerry Leddy

    Do they still serve Orange Tart at the Lock Keepers Café?

    Don’t know what make me think of that, after reading the above.

  • chrisjones2

    Are any MLAs members

  • barnshee

    Emergency services under intense pressure and £350k given to a private members club ?