County board say they didn't receive email from supporters group

The stand off between the Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation which currently holds €250,000 raised on behalf of Mayo GAA and the county board, was raised at the monthly meeting of the county board which took place on Wednesday night.

On Tuesday evening a letter from the foundation was sent to all clubs in the county explaining the breakdown of their relationship with the county board, asking for it to be read out at the meeting - however county secretary Dermot Butler told the delegates the meeting he had not received the email. When the issue was raised by a club delegate he told the meeting: "From what I gather my email address was on it and it was addressed to me as county secretary, but I can assure you I received no correspondence from any association be it the Mayo Foundation or any individual."

Some delegates questioned how he had not received the correspondence and Mr Butler replied saying: "I received no correspondence from anyone in relation to any funding from England or America, I received no correspondence. I am aware that there is correspondence going around with my name on it that was purported to have been sent to me as the county board secretary. But I have received no correspondence from Tim O'Leary or the foundation for the last ten or 14 days, so I can't read it out." Butler went on to offer any delegate to come and look at his laptop and check his emails to show that he had not received the email.

Chairperson of the county board Mike Connelly addressed the meeting and outlined some of the figures.

"What I would say in relation to that is that we did receive €150,000 last year towards the Mayo senior team and then we had the function this year which raised I think €250,000 and the team also stayed on for a week and I think that cost €60,000 and the cost of that was paid by the foundation.

"The plan is that we have to put a development plan in place to draw down from foundation and Tom Reilly (Mayo GAA Commerical manager ) will be doing that, so hopefully in the next few weeks we'll be able to do that."

He also told the delegates that he and the commercial manager had met with Tim O'Leary from the foundation about three weeks ago.

"Myself and the commercial manager met with Tim to discuss exactly what we are speaking about here, what was agreed is what we are saying now that a plan would be put in place to draw down that money and that is what will happen."

County board treasurer Kevin O'Toole added that: "Through the courtesy of one of the clubs I received a copy of the letter this morning. I didn't receive it officially to my email address - there is a county board meeting fixed for October 16 and I will have a line by line reply in chronological order of the moving sands of this."

Speaking after the meeting to journalists, Mr Connelly when asked for his reaction to the statement issued by the foundation said "I got phone calls on it, no point saying any different relations are probably a little bit fractured - over the next few months we will put that to bed and sort it out.

"We can't afford to lose the likes of Tim O'Leary who is a great supporter of Mayo GAA and hugely passionate about Mayo GAA and over the next few months hopefully we will sort it out and move on."

When it was put to him what would be the message that he would like Mayo supporters to hear from the top table in relation to the situation he went on to say: "The message from the top table, is whatever topics have been raised they need to be discussed and sorted out it is as simple as that.

"I met with Tim a few weeks ago and we agreed how we would be working going forward and the commercial manager is the man now in relation to the whole financial piece, which is a massive help to us and he is the man who should take over all that responsibility for Mayo GAA and to simplify the job - that was the whole reason to bring in someone like Tom. When he gets up in the morning, it is all about the finance of Mayo GAA."

When asked if he was surprised that after meeting with Mr O'Leary recently and putting together a plan was he surprised about the developments, he said — "Absolutely, you know I suppose I am - it looks like we need to revisit again and have further discussions to sort out whatever differences are there."

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