Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross has insisted he did not interfere in the process where a private, fee-paying school in his constituency was awarded a sports grant of €150,000.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, Mr Ross said that he did not make representations and took a hands-off approach in relation to the Sports Capital Grant awarded to Wesley College this month.

The school, which is in Mr Ross’s Dublin Rathdown constituency, has said it will use the money for the resurfacing of a hockey pitch.

The decision has been criticised by other schools that did not receive grants despite lodging applications.

There have also been calls by opposition politicians for greater transparency within the sports grant process.

Mr Ross said the grant application by Wesley College was independently scored by department officials and he signed off on their decision without observations or comment.

He said the application was initially refused and he said he also signed off on the refusal.

The school appealed the decision and was then awarded the money.



Asked about a tweet expressing his delight at the award, Mr Ross said he was "cheering for" Wesley College but he said that was not interference.

He admitted the tweet was probably a mistake and he said he had previously sent some pretty irresponsible tweets.