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Minister Coughlan announces payment of €750,000 to Ballymun Horse Project

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan, confirmed today that her Department was in the process of paying €750,000 to Dublin City Council in part recoupment of expenditure incurred to date by the Council in providing financial assistance towards the set-up costs of the Ballymun Horse and Animal Centre. This payment represents the first element of financial support from her Department towards the project's building costs and further payments up to the Department's commitment of €2.25m will be made over the next two years.

The Minister said that this Centre was an integral part of the wider, flagship Ballymun Regeneration project. Her Department's involvement with the project arises under the Control of Horses Act 1996, which enables local authorities to deal with potential problems that could arise from wandering horses. In addition to supporting operational activities and initiatives in implementing the Act, the Department has also supported a number of urban horse projects, to facilitate the responsible keeping of horses by young people and to equip them with particular skills in horse care and management. The ultimate objective is to enhance the employment and career prospects of the young people involved and to improve their quality of life.

Minister Coughlan said she was delighted to be in position to follow through on the undertaking she had given to support this project when she visited Ballymun in November 2004 and she looked forward to its successful completion. She concluded by commending the foresight and commitment of those concerned with the project and wished them well in finalising the work required to bring the facility into successful operation.

18 May 2007

Date Released: 18 May 2007