GAA offers voluntary redundancy to all full-time staff

Past year has been ‘very damaging’ to the association financially says Tom Ryan

All full-time GAA employees have been offered voluntary redundancy. Photo: Inpho

All full-time GAA employees have been offered voluntary redundancy. Photo: Inpho

 

The GAA have offered voluntary redundancies to all full-time staff. At a remote meeting on Friday, the association’s DG Tom Ryan addressed staff and in light of the financial difficulties of the past year proposed the cuts.

It applies to all centrally funded positions, which now includes nearly all county secretaries or CEOs. Staff were informed that the matter would be coming before the meeting of Management Committee later that evening.

The programme is at an early stage and there will be no compulsory redundancies plus all applications must be approved by the GAA’s HR department. There are believed to be the best part of 200 employees of the GAA at central level, including 140 directly in Croke Park and around 30 more, as full-time CEOs are also funded centrally.

It is also believed that the impact of Covid, which shut down the association for lengthy periods and prevented any gate receipts from being earned has created the necessity for this action.

A voluntary process will begin in the weeks ahead. There is no declared target number of redundancies but the programme is open to everyone, subject to approval.

There is concern within the GAA that the severance proposals, although inevitable, will hamper the association in the years to come.

In his annual report to last February’s congress, Ryan set out the financial challenges caused by the pandemic.

“Our success is not defined by financial performance, and nor should it be,” he said in his report about a year in which revenues fell by nearly 60 per cent from last year’s record €74 million and in which counties lost a cumulative €4 million.

“Nevertheless the past year has proved very damaging to the Association from a financial point of view, with the likelihood that the after effects will be felt for some years to come. The extent and nature of that damage is evident elsewhere in this report, but the topic bears reflecting upon here too.”

Government support was vital to the functioning of the association and totalled €28 million, including the €14 million granted to run the All-Ireland football and hurling championships.

“But the Association will flourish again long after this pandemic is over,” added Ryan, “and we need to maintain certain momentum in the meantime - albeit on a greatly reduced scale. With time, with the restoration of public health and the resumption of normality I have no doubt that we will recover.”

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