May 5, 2024
Sports clubs and local charities will lose thousands of euro in vital fundraising if government fails to address concerns – Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has said that Minister James Browne must urgently rethink his Gambling Bill or local charities, sports clubs and philanthropic organisations will pay the price for government conflating necessary fundraising with gambling.

Deputy Doherty was responding after the government passed the legislation through the Dáil this week despite acknowledging these concerns were accurate.

He added that Sinn Féin would keep fighting to protect the fundraising activities of community groups.

Teachta Doherty said:

“The government this week pushed through their Gambling Bill which conflates the fundraising activities of local charities, sports clubs and philanthropic groups

“If this legislation is enacted as it is currently worded, it will cost local sporting clubs, charities and community organisations thousands of euros in vital fundraising.

“Minister James Browne initially rejected the fears of these groups when they were relayed to him by Sinn Féin but now acknowledges we were right. 

“Under Fianna Fáil’s bill, many local charities and sport fundraisers will be illegal.

“For fundraisers with prize funds above €2000, it will not be permissible to sell tickets door to door, pitchside or in local pubs and shops.

“For fundraisers with prize funds above €10,000, it will not be permissible to be mentioned on radio before 9pm, and could no longer be advertised on social media to non-followers.

“Annual draws, the lifeblood of sporting clubs across the state, will be impossible under this legislation as it won’t be possible for national organisations to have annual draws at the same time each year as there will now need to be 16-18 months between draws.

“Charity groups, sporting clubs and philanthropic organisations heavily rely on fundraising but will be left with one hand tied behind their backs when it comes to raising necessary funds as a result of this.

“This legislation must deliver for ordinary people, voluntary organisations and those in recovery, while protecting sources of fundraising for local organisations. It simply does not do that.

“The Minister says he will bring amendments in Seanad. We await to see what those will be as its current wording will cost clubs and local groups very dearly.

“Sinn Féin will keep fighting to protect fundraising activities of local charities, sport organisations and philanthropic groups.”

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