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01 Dec 2021

Kildare GAA examines 'Cash for Visas' scheme to fund Conleth's Park

Immigrant Investment Fund being explored

Kildare GAA looking 'outside the box' to secure funding for St Conleth's Park

St Conleth's Park, Newbridge

Kildare GAA are looking at a unique method of (part) funding the redevelopment of St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge.
A scheme introduced by the government in 2012, titled the Immigrant Investment Programme (IIP), is designed to encourage investors and business professionals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to invest and locate their business interests in Ireland; and acquire a secure residency status in this country in return.

Kildare GAA Operations Manager, Cormac Kirwan giving the delegates at last week's monthly board meeting an update on where the re-development of St Conleth's is at the minute, said they hoped “to go to tender for the contractor sometime around the summer, giving 3-4 months to identify a contractor for the project” as reported in the Leinster Leader recently.
Funding, as explained, is to be made up of three strands: (1) Government funding of €4.85 million which is secured; (2) Kildare's own funding plus borrowing and (already negotiated and agreed) and (3) grants from Croke Park, which includes both from Headquarters and Leinster Council.
It is the third leg of the funding that is causing the hold-up and with no monies from that source available in the immediate future, Mr Kirwan informed the meeting that “we are presently looking at alternative funding, thinking outside the box.”

What they are looking at is a scheme titled The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) which was introduced by the Irish Government back in 2012 to encourage inward investment for the creation of business and employment opportunities in the State.
The IIP is designed to encourage investors and business professionals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to avail of opportunities of investing and locating their business interests in Ireland and acquire a secure residency status in Ireland.
Applications are deter-
mined by an Evaluation Committee, composed of senior civil and public servants from relevant Irish Government Departments and Agencies under Department Justice.
Kildare are currently exploring the option of a minimum €500,000 philanthropic donation to a project (in this case St Conleth's Park Redevelopment) which is of public benefit to the arts, sports, health, culture or education in Ireland.
Termon GAA Club in Donegal have received an investment of €500k as part of the investment visa scheme similar to the one Kildare GAA are investigating at present.
Cormac Kirwan acknowledges that they (Kildare GAA) are in the early stages of pursuing a similar scheme as Termon GAA, and while initially it has to get the green light from the Department of Justice, it is certainly a novel approach and if successful would be a great fillup for the St Conleth's Park redevelop-
ment works.

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