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24/09/2021

Sinn Fein councillors vote against additional funding being given to next month's Foyle Cup tournament in Derry

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A row has erupted after Sinn Fein councillors voted against additional funding being allocated by the local council to the annual Foyle Cup tournament in Derry. The issue came before a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council's Health and Community committee this afternoon. It emerged at the meeting that the organisers of the Foyle Cup were seeking an additional £10,000 in funding from the council for this year's tournament, on top of the £51,812 it already receives. The meeting was told that it was anticipated that an additional 18 teams from the USA would be attending this year's event. A council officer added that there is currently no budget for this additional £10,000 and 'this would need to be identified from other budget underspends'. The SDLP's Shauna Cusack proposed that council officers consider the request for additional funding, which was seconded by the independent councillor Gary Donnelly. However, the DUP's Hilary McClintock said she had 'concerns' about the request relating to teams being 'brought in from outside the council area' Sinn Fein's Eric McGinley added that council receives requests from a number of bodies for funding and that council officers should look at working with the Foyle Cup to identify alternative means of securing the money. The SDLP's Brian Tierney then asked for a recorded vote to be taken on who would support the request, and all five Sinn Fein members present voted against it. Sinn Fein's Sandra Duffy said that the move would leave council 'wide open' as they had recently received an application from a local arts group, Studio 2, for funding but it had come outside the normal process. "If we allow other groups to come in outside the process then we leave ourselves wide open," she added. At that point, Cllr Tierney asked to speak to 'set the record straight' about the comments made by Cllr Duffy, but he was refused the opportunity to address the meeting by its chair, Sinn Fein's Rauiri McHugh. Cllr McHugh said he would not be letting Cllr Tierney back in to speak as he had previously said that Cllr Duffy would be that last one to speak on the matter. "So I can't speak then?" Cllr Tierney asked. "No, we're moving on," Cllr McHugh replied.

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