Dublin to resist any cuts to central GAA funding

County chairman Andy Kettle confirms that Dublin’s funding allocation is under review

Dublin County Board chairman Andy Kettle.

Dublin County Board chairman Andy Kettle.

Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 01:00

Dublin will be resisting any reduction in their central GAA funding for next year, claiming they’re being penalised for their own success while other counties are already benefitting from the lucrative gate receipts they create.

County chairman Andy Kettle has confirmed that Dublin’s funding allocation for 2015 is under review, and that they’re the only county with a proposed cut: they’re facing a reduced allocation in coaching and games development, while Fingal will no longer be recognised for their share of national hurling league funds.

“Last Friday week, a document was released to counties, indicating what funds were going to come to any particular county, like the GAA do every year,” said Kettle. “We didn’t get an awful lot of time to study the document, but our county secretary (John Costello) highlighted the fact that Dublin were the only county that had a potential cut.

“First of all it would be eating into our coaching and games development. And the system we have up and running at the moment, Dublin doesn’t make a huge amount. If you look at Dublin accounts for the last number of years, it’s barely breaking even. It’s not as if we’re building a war chest. So taking any funds from it will affect our bottom line.

‘Develop hurling’

“The Fingal figure I can give you, in that they get €11,000 from the hurling league fund. Fingal was actually set up at the behest of Croke Park, to develop hurling in the Fingal area. We have now 10 or 11 clubs playing hurling where previously Fingal was kind of a wasteland from a hurling point of view. We certainly feel there we’re being penalised for perceived success. And again it’s perceived success, because there are areas of Dublin county which are wasteland from a GAA point of view.

“We’re also trying to promote the game in an area that is a fifth of the population of the country. And, from the promotional side of things, we’re up against a very slick, very successful Leinster rugby brand. In fact if you go back to the Blue Wave strategic plan, one of the aspirations we had is that Dublin be treated as a province from a financial point of view. Not alone has that not happened, but the GAA seem to be picking at the bit we have.”

Dublin also have concerns over the annual Irish Sports Council allocation of around €1 million, which Kettle believes had been specifically ring-fenced for Dublin: “That grant is administered through Croke Park with strict parameters on it, whereby we have to give bi-monthly reports as to our progress on participation rates and our coaching programme etc, which we do. Now it seems they can take a little bit off that, and give it to somebody else, which I don’t accept.

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