[Sinn Fein]

18th January 2002

Bertie Bowl: An extravagance we can ill afford

``The `Bertie Bowl' is an extravagance that we can ill afford'' according to Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Fein general election candidate for Dublin West. Ms McDonald was joined by Sinn Fein's Michelle Gildernew at the launch of the party's campaign for investment in local recreational facilities.

``The government and planning authorities have forgotten the children and youth of Dublin West'' claims McDonald. ``We need substantial investment in safe play areas and sports facilities as a matter of urgency''.

McDonald was critical of a Fingal Co. Council decision to ban local soccer teams from using playing pitches in the refurbished Millennium Park at Coolmine.

``On the one hand, we have a government proposing to invest ?1.27bn in this area on a stadium for the sporting elite, while the council is banning local teams from using pitches they have used for over twenty years - where's the sense in that?'' asked McDonald.

A local petition gathered by Sinn Fein calling for the reversal of that decision. The petition will be lodged with Fingal Co. Council and marks the first step in the Sinn Fein campaign to secure investment in local facilities. ENDS

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