Relief as GAA finances back on track with record revenues for 2022

The return of crowds after Covid and a record dividend from Croke Park contribute to a reassuring year for the association

There was an air of relief in Croke Park on Thursday as the GAA rolled out its annual reports. Normal service had been resumed in 2022 after two years of pandemic-driven disruption and uncertainty, and that was most welcome on the financial side after last year’s reported two-year deficit of €25 million.

As the association’s main revenue generator, Central Council, registered a big recovery in revenues in 2022, which reached record levels.

The figure €96 million includes €21 million in payments from Government – including some Covid grants and ‘pass through’ funding of schemes for players and clubs – but even when that is stripped out, the figure of €75 million is slightly up on the previous high point.

That was in 2019, the last year before Covid when €74 million was taken in – although that included €3 million earned from that year’s All-Ireland replay between Dublin and Kerry.


According to finance director Ger Mulryan, consolidated revenues – including Croke Park stadium earnings of €46.3 million and other smaller contributors like the insurance and injury fund – were also a record at €138.7 million, up on the previous high-water mark of €118 million in 2019.

“We’re getting back on our feet is probably the best way to put this. The highest recorded revenue on record is an increase of over €51 million on last year.”

He cited the “return to normal activity” as being central to this recovery. That reversion to the norm included gate receipts of €33.4 million, slightly down on the last comparable year in 2019, which came in at €36.1 million – the difference more or less down to that year’s All-Ireland final replay between Dublin and Kerry.

Also mentioned by Mulryan was “a significant result from Croke Park – an extraordinary dividend generated back to the association”.

That dividend was €17 million, the highest distribution since the heyday of Ireland rugby and soccer internationals in the stadium when 2009 emulated the figure.

One anomaly was an actual decline in commercial revenue, down €3.8 million to €22.4 million – in reality a trick of the accounting light in that the previous year’s accounts incorporated two All-Ireland finals, the winter championship of 2020 and its Dublin-Mayo final in December, as well as the following year’s Tyrone-Mayo decider.

Stadium director Peter McKenna welcomed the figures as “special”, adding: “The real positive variant in this was undoubtedly the impact of concerts. The seven concerts would have contributed €7.6 million during that period. I also want to stress that these results are exceptional. For example there are no concerts in 2023 and we will return to a more modest set of achievements.

“There are also some significant negative variances, which started in 2002 and are not going to change. We’re back to paying full rates ... and utility bills are really exercising our collective minds here. They are up in excess of €1.3 million on the most comparative year, 2019.”

As a result of these buoyant revenues, capital grants more than doubled from €11 million to €24 million with money committed to redevelopment work in St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge and Walsh Park, Waterford.

There is also a figure of €14 million on the balance sheet going toward the £15 million commitment to Casement Park in Belfast, a much delayed project that has climbed in projected cost to between €120 million and €140 million.

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times