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Fine Gael TD for Cork East, David Stanton, has welcomed support from the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, for a proposal to improve youth organisations access to state owned premises. Minister Fitzgerald was responding to a question by Deputy Stanton in the Dail on Tuesday.

“I have suggested to the Minister that many premises and land owned by Government Departments, Local Authorities and semi-state agencies, which are not being used and for which there are no plans for usage, could be made available to youth and sports organisations. Adequate facilities are a huge issue facing such groups and I believe a situation where state owned property could be leased to these groups could help solve this problem,” said Deputy Stanton.

“Some long term leasing of state owned premises would benefit youth and sports organisations and allow them to expand on the services they provide to the local community. It was also benefit the government by generating revenue both from the leasing arrangement and also through local employment. It is a win-win situation.

“I was very pleased to hear that Minister Fitzgerald supports my proposal and is going to look into it further. I have also made contact with other Government Ministers seeking their support.

“Youth and sports bodies do fantastic work for local communities and I feel that the state and state agencies should support this work in any way possible. Many private companies take corporate social responsibility where they give back to local communities very seriously and even though the state also plays a role in this, I believe more could be done.