THE €250,000 promised to Rathkeale under the RAPID programme for disadvantaged areas has not been provided for in this year’s budget, Phil Hogan, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government has confirmed.
Speaking in the Dail, the Minister said the money for Rathkeale, promised by the previous government in December 2009, was intended to come from the Dormant Accounts Fund.
However, he went on to explain that under Government accounting procedures, any money earmarked for dormant account fund projects must be paid out, in the first instance, from department funds.
The problem, he added, was that no money was provided for in department funds for 2011 to cover the RAPID projects in Rathkeale and four other towns. “The dormant accounts capital budget for my department for 2011 is fully committed to existing projects,” he said.
“As far as we were concerned, this money was ringfenced for Rathkeale,” Padraig Doherty, chairman of Rathkeale Community Council said.
“Now it seems they are doing a u-turn on it. It is very disappointing. It is now over a year since the projects were submitted.”
Whether the money will be included in the 2012 budget remains to be seen. Minister Hogan, whose department took over the RAPID programme following a reorganisation of department roles after the general election, gave no indication in the Dail that provision for the Rathkeale RAPID funds would be included in the 2012 budget, the estimates for which are currently being prepared.