The Cycle Of Irish Life




From top: Minister for Health Simon Harris and Taoiseach Enda Kenny; Ray Moylette (centre) at spinning classes at Islandeady Cycling Club; Islandeady, County Mayo

First they disassemble.

Then they start spinning…

Peter Fleming writes:

In November, there was some uproar about a Mayo cycling club (Islandeady Cycling Club) receiving Lotto funding from the health fund by Health Minister Simon Harris.

Uproar being that it was associated with Enda Kenny and it’s unusual for such clubs to get funding from this fund, especially anything close to €20,000.

The club denied Kenny had any hand in this, but it is not so and no Irish media, apart from The Sunday Times (see below), are reporting it.

I’ll include the text of the article in full as it’s behind a partial paywall.

Enda Kenny, the taoiseach, made two representations to Simon Harris, the health minister, on behalf of a cycling club in the Mayo village where he grew up that was seeking lottery funding from the Department of Health last year.

Islandeady Cycling Club was subsequently awarded €20,000 in funding, despite the department’s lottery fund being ring-fenced for the “provision of health-related services”.

Pádraic Horkan, the club’s public relations officer, has previously said the taoiseach had “no hand, act or part” in the funding application and had not been consulted about it.

This weekend Ger Deere, the taoiseach’s assistant and a member of the club, said he had brought the application to Kenny’s attention.

The club, which has more than 100 members, sought funding for 30 indoor exercise bicycles and 30 mats to help it provide spinning classes.

Correspondence released under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI) shows Kenny wrote to Harris on behalf of Islandeady Cycling Club, of which he is an honorary member, on May 19 enclosing the club’s application for lottery funding and asking to be kept appraised of its application.

“I would appreciate if you may evaluate the contents and advise me on the matter,” he wrote. Harris responded saying the club’s funding application was “receiving attention”.

On July 5, Kenny wrote again to Harris on behalf of the club “seeking an update on their application”. On July 8, an official in the department assessed the cycling club’s application for funding and advised that it met the criteria laid down by the department for lottery funding.

“The application is for capital funding and aims to increase physical activity across the wider community,” she noted.

At a reception to mark the taoiseach’s honorary membership of the club in December 2015, Kenny promised to join in one of the club’s weekly “cycling spins”. Last August, Kenny, who takes part in a charity cycle around the Ring of Kerry every year, launched a fundraising event at the club.

Each year hundreds of organisations apply for lottery funding from the Department of Health. Last year 120 organisations received €2.7million in grants.

The department defended its grant to Islandeady, saying “being physically active is one of the most significant improvements people and communities can make to improve physical and mental health”.

My own research on this last month showed that, going back to 2009, there have only been about a dozen sports groups/clubs which have seemingly had a grant from this health fund.

Most of these were small €1,500-€4,000. Though there was one of €15,000 to one club.

However, most of these also have a broader scope than being just a sports club, and provide outreach facilities for people with physical and mental disabilities and illnesses.

Islandeady Cycling Club does not. It wants 30 high-end turbo trainers.

The club’s president is Joe Moylette. His son is former boxing champing and gym owner Ray Moylette. Ray will be using these turbo trainers to deliver spinning classes to the club. Presumably for a fee.

It stinks, and from the very top heads should roll.

Kenny twice rode to rescue of local bike club (Colin Coyle, The Sunday Times – behind paywall)


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46 thoughts on “The Cycle Of Irish Life

  1. elmoisarat

    Unbelievable. Amazed at the lack of media attention – this is a penalty kick for a Journo….

    1. Cot

      It is, and it isn’t. Everyone expects this type of behaviour from the Blueshirts. It’s doesn’t shock.

  2. Happy Molloy

    some fella has been banging on about this over on boards for ages, no one else cares.

    sports club applies for grant and gets it. expands, more people get healthier. prevention being better than cure etc.

    Anyway, the thread on boards goes through any potential issues in good detail

    1. Leopold Gloom

      It’s more than that though. The club claimed Enda had no involvement and all was above board which was not true.

      They want 30 Turbo trainers at a cost of over 600 each apparently. Now the trainers in themselves are of no benefit unless you have a bike to go on them so it’s not for the wider community.

      They charge a fee for their spinning classes, something which many clubs arrange on behalf of members as standard.

      So unless, absolutely anybody can roll up to their club, and use the trainers in question, then something is wrong here. They were given a grant from a fund intended for another purpose. There where other funds that they should have been directed to.

  3. Mr. Camomile T

    Is it a stroke? Probably.

    Is it corrupt? Probably not.

    Does it clearly illustrate the gombeen nature of Irish party politics? Absolutely.

    Hopefully this sets a precedent for sports clubs across the country to apply for funding through both the Dept. of Sport and the Dept. of Health.

    1. Ivor

      I understand what you’re saying but while this action may be legal, it is certainly corrupt – at least in the common, everyday usage of the word.

      We are too accepting of a system that is corrupt.

  4. steve knievel

    first things first they are not spinning bikes. they are turbo trainers. but disgusting all the same.

  5. spudnick

    “From the very top, heads should roll.”

    Christ, the pomposity.

    How many millions does the GAA get a year? Is that taking food out of the mouths of starving orphans, or mocking the plight of the disabled? A few poxy grand for a sports club, and this is the trench you want to die in?

    1. Leopold Gloom

      Didn’t take long for the whataboutery to kick in.

      That the countries highest serving elected official should be allowed interfere and possibly dictact the granting of funds in such a way is seriously wrong. It doesn’t matter how little or how large the amount. 2 senior politicians have rigged the system.

      It’s hardly the most important thing, but it’s just another sign that Ireland is governed by entirely self serving t0sspots who have no vision for the greater good and are all about clamouring to the top of the sh!theap grabbing as much money as they go along.

      If they’ve done it for this, no doubt they’ve done it for countless others. No doubt that most of the other 160 or so TDs are doing it.

      It’s worth being angry over.

        1. Leopold Gloom

          Difference between whining and anger. The only comment which can be seen as coming close to whinging is yours below.

          Whinging about whinging. If you’ve nothing useful to say, you’d be better off saying nothing. Just as Enda et all would have it.

          1. Loan Some Cow Boy

            Do you have nothing better to do than take potshots at other bloggers?
            How does that improve public confidence and trust in politics and ethics?

      1. spudnick

        You’re well named.

        As for the whataboutery, maybe I should’ve been clearer – I don’t begrudge the GAA. I think it’s a great use of funds.

    2. Medium Sized C

      Like, I agree that the metaphor is a bit out of place but your comparison to the GAA is kind of wrong.

    1. Ivor

      20k worth of equipment was purchased using Health funding and the equipment is now – apparently – being used for private profit. The Taoiseach lobbied for this outcome. You think that’s insignificant?

      1. Kenny Plank

        In fairness, 20K wouldn’t buy you much quality cycling gear. A decent Cervelo would set you back 4K for a start. I suppose you’d get a fair bit of the cheaper stuff that would do the average saladdodger in lycra we see out there…

        1. SomeChump

          Yes, of course. No bike worth less that 4k is worth bothering with. Yep, you’re 100% right. Well done.

  6. bisted

    …nice to see Broadsheet back in action again…I suppose we’ll see lots of these public interest type posts now…now they seem to be keeping public service hours…

    1. 15p

      yea it looks like a shoddy set-up, probably pocketed a slice off the 20k for themselves, showing the corruption goin full circle

  7. Junkface

    “We’ll sort ye out me old mucko – wink, wink. Sure isn’t Ireland built on Nepotism and brown envelopes?”

    1. Loan Some Cow Boy

      a lot of it was built on cow’s milk, brown bread, heads of cabbage and lumps of turf

  8. Kenny Plank

    Can’t believe they’re pedalling this story. They must have a full-time spokesperson trying to get their leg over it somewhere.

    I suppose when the Dail resumes and they’re all back in the saddle it’ll be recycled by the opposition.

    Which one is Paul Kimmage in the picture?

  9. justpassing

    Ride on.
    Nothing to see here

    Ps: Heard the minister of the news this evening. Will someone spend €20k on getting Simon Harris some elocution. It worked for Maggie Thatcher. She spent a fortune trying to deepen her voice, perhaps speech therapy will deepen Simon’s and he might be taken seriously. At the moment he sounds like an extra in The Little Rascals

    1. Topsy

      Ye, on the news talking the same poo we’ve been listening to for years.
      If consultants were made to work 5 days over 7 then many of the Health Service problems would be solved. Instead the hospitals effectively close at 5 on Friday & re open on Mon am. Consultants have the health service fcuked.

  10. 15p

    for anyone playin this down as not much to worry about, it’s only 20k .. if the leader of the country, does something like this, what else does he do that we don’t see?

  11. :-Joe

    Hahaaaaahhhh….. jayzuz…

    Not been around these parts of the wonderful Broadsheet for a while but glad to see it’s business as usual….

    Houseless Crisis…
    Trolley Crisis…
    Rental Crisis…
    Banking Crisis…
    Insurance Crisis…

    Middle East Crisis…. et al..
    Climate Crisis…
    Cyber-cold-war crisis….
    Eh.. Nuclear War Crisis…

    Meanwhile… in the landscape of Enda Kenny and the little people…

    Enda : Shure twenty grand will have to do there now for the moment… don’t want to be ssen to be being a slave to the nepotism and the machaevalian parochialism…eh, y’know that eh, some politicians often get criticised for…. mostly unfairly as you can imagine… Thanks for your support I hope you’ll be able to join me in welcoming our lord jesus back to the promised land . I mean the holy pope to the phoenix park before the next election.. Bye Bye now…

    Forget about the politicians and the 1%…

    Is anyone asking what are we gonna do about the 60%….
    -The gombeen eejits who keep voting for these moronic schoolteachers and then doing nothing about it when they roll around with both feet in their mouths…. banging into problems instead of solving them.

    Happy New Year to you all…

    ye stupidignorantsonofab1tchdumbbasturds…
    Ye get what you ask for….


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