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Mayo GAA to receive over €1 mi...
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Mayo GAA to receive over €1 million in funding... if they meet certain terms

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

01:26 2 Dec 2019

Mayo GAA will receive funding of at least €1 million over five years from the Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation, pending agreement to certain terms by this evening.

In correspondence seen by Off the Ball, the foundation say a new Donor has come forward and pledged €500,000 to them, while an existing Donor has pledged a further €250,000.

They say that "Along with the retained funds the Foundation is now in a position to commit a minimum of €1 million over a 5-year period to Mayo GAA."

The funding is directed by the Foundation to be used in two specific ways.

  1. To assist with the development of the existing Academy by providing funds to support the appointment of a number of key individuals on a full-time basis. These individuals would develop and manage the Academy to support the development of Players at u14, u15, u16 and u17 grades in the County. The Foundation would like to see the ‘knowledge base’ developed at Academy level made available to Clubs, Ladies Football and Hurling on a shared model basis so that all players who participate in GAA at these grades can avail of the expertise and knowledge developed at Academy level
  2. To fund a Feasibility Study and Business Plan for the development of key infrastructure to support the Academy, be that Lough Lannagh or at another location. The Foundation through its local and global contacts would assist the Board to fund and develop the infrastructure

Should the terms of the funding be agreed upon by the county board, it was asked that a response be given  in writing by 5pm this evening. The Foundation also say if the officers of the county board decide not to agree on the terms, an EGM should be called to allow the clubs to vote themselves on the terms connected with the significant funding.

25 May 2019; A general view of Elverys MacHale Park prior to the Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Mayo and Roscommon at Elverys MacHale Park in Castlebar, Mayo. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Th nine terms of funding put to the Mayo county board are as follows:

  1. In so far as matters relate to the Foundation the County Board to provide an update on the recent meeting with Croke Park and Connacht Council. We have a particular interest in understanding Croke Parks position on the protocol referred to by Mr O’Toole. We would ask that you give consideration to the recently launched Cairde Chorcai which appears to be set up independent of the Cork County Board and on very similar terms to the Foundation
  2. A proper explanation to be provided as to how Mr O’Leary’s initial contribution of €150,000 was used and more importantly who made the decision not use it for its intended In the event that the Board is unable to provide back up to support the expenditure (as per the original agreement) then the un-vouched amount of to be returned immediately to Mr O’Leary who has committed to lodge this amount with the Foundation
  3. The County Board to provide a status report on current sponsorship deals with a commitment that all sponsorship deals will go through a competitive bid process so that full value can be achieved for Mayo GAA
  4. The bid process for all sponsorship deals to be managed by a Committee with its members to be agreed in advance with the Foundation and to include independent oversight by a representative from the Foundation
  5. The County Board to provide a detailed status report on the Lough Lannagh project
  6. The County Board to provide a detailed status report on the Academy project
  7. Draft Proposal as to how the County Board and the Foundation can work together going forward. Please note that the Foundation is open to Board Representation at the
  8. The County Board to agree to an independent Auditor to review the financial accounts of Mayo GAA for the past 3 The Foundation is more than willing to present its books and records to the Mayo Board Auditor for its review
  9. The County Board to provide details of possible Mediators for the Foundations consideration

Last month, Off the Ball's Eoin Sheahan travelled to Castlebar on the night of an Emergency General Meeting held at MacHale Park in Castlebar.

Meanwhile, just last week it was reported that officials from Croke Park were to meet with US-based Mayo GAA donor Tim O'Leary. O'Leary is head of the Supporters Foundation, who have been withholding €250,000 from Mayo GAA.

The money was raised at a gala function in New York last year, but the Foundation said they had concerns over governance issues.

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