Athlone senior footballer prepares to launch Dublin GAA funding challenge

Current Athlone and former Westmeath senior footballer, John Connellan, is heading a group of GAA members across a number of counties, aiming to tackle the disproportionate level of Croke Park funding afforded to Dublin GAA

Current Athlone and former Westmeath senior footballer, John Connellan, is heading a group of GAA members across a number of counties, aiming to tackle the disproportionate level of Croke Park funding afforded to Dublin GAA

The disproportionate level of Croke Park funding of Dublin GAA is set to be challenged at the GAA’s Annual Congress in 2022.

Current Athlone and former Westmeath senior footballer, John Connellan, is heading a group of GAA members across a number of counties, who have taken the step of writing to every club and county board outside of Dublin looking for support for a motion at club AGMs and county board conventions in 2021 that, if approved, would progress to Annual Congress in 2022.

This would see the GAA Central Council and GAA Management constrained to solely allocating games and development funding on an equal basis per registered GAA member to each county except with the approval of Annual Congress where the variance exceeds five percent every two years.

It is understood that the group also intend lobbying local TDs across the country and looking for an audience with the Oireachtas Sport Committee at a later point that would see Sport Ireland and GAA management asked to explain the allocation of taxpayer monies across the country within the GAA.

The approval of this motion would bring about an immediate end to the disproportionate level of funding with which many counties and players outside of Dublin are aggrieved and feel has led to the complete dominance of the Dublin senior football team in both mens and ladies championships in recent years.

In the correspondence addressed to club secretaries and county boards, Connellan has attached a detailed analysis of the positive impact of Dublin funding has had for its inter-county teams and clubs. Per head of population, it provides analysis that Dublin have received €14.16 per person with only €5 allocated per head of population outside of Dublin, nearly three times higher.

Furthermore, it highlights the disparity in funding between this year’s two All Ireland finalists, Mayo during the 2010-2014, received €22.30 per registered club player in the county while Dublin by stark contrast, received over ten times this amount in the same period, at €270.70 per club registered players. There were calls at the Mayo county board convention in 2019 that a motion be placed at Annual Congress to address this unfairness. In addition, following this year’s All Ireland final, current Offaly county board Chairman and media pundit, Michael Duignan made similar calls.

The document has outlined in its analysis how most Dublin GAA clubs have seen a doubling of its membership income, with some clubs now taking in excess of €500,000 per annum, it cites the sizeable sponsorship deals that Dublin clubs are now achieving, with one Dublin club not even at Senior A level, securing a five year deal totalling €175,000 or €35,000 per annum that many counties outside of Dublin would find hard to achieve.

The document outlines how Dublin GAA is now self-sustainable with no need for a continuance of the coaching and development funding from Croke Park with Dublin County Board itself achieving a €2.7 million surplus on its operations in its last published accounts.

 

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