Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has slammed the use of a petition of concern by the DUP against his bill that would see rates relief for amateur and community sports clubs.
Mr. McCartney said by initiating a petition of concern the DUP have denied sporting clubs a valuable resource at a time when DUP ministers won’t even take their seats.
“The use of a petition of concern to block a private members bill by Daithí McKay that would see rates relief for community and amateur sports clubs, is an absolute disgrace.
“They have effectively taken money out of the pockets of sports clubs across the north and wasted the time which many clubs have invested to see this bill brought forward,” said Mr. McCartney.
“Sporting clubs do find it hard to make ends meet and every penny counts.
“This bill would have seen them being able to avail of a smaller rates bill which is money that would naturally be put back into the club for development and better facilities for all our communities,” he added.
Mr. McCartney went on to urge members of sports clubs throughout the North to contact the DUP and ask them why they have initiated a petition of concern.
“This would have provided a greater resource within our communities. I don’t think anyone could say that our sporting clubs, made up largely of thousands of volunteers giving hundreds of hours a year, could not benefit from this bill.
“We all know the very valuable work that sporting clubs carry out in terms of community cohesion, improving health and wellbeing, tackling depression and much, much more.
“I would urge members of sporting clubs whether in boxing, rugby, the GAA or soccer to contact their local DUP office and ask them why they are denying resources to hard-pressed clubs especially at a time when the DUP won’t even fill their ministerial posts in the Assembly,” he said.