Friday 24 October 2014

Charities to lose millions as JP cancels pro-am

Barry Duggan

Published 17/01/2014 | 02:30

Golf - JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am Tournament - Day One - Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort...USA's Tiger Woods in conversation with event organiser JP McManus (left) during the JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am Tournament at Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort, Limerick, Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday July 5, 2010. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire. ...S
Tiger Woods with JP McManus (left) during the event in 2010. Photo: PA

BILLIONAIRE JP McManus has called time on the country's biggest charity fundraiser, his pro-am golf event, with the country's tax residency laws cited as a major sticking point.

Recent changes to the laws limit the time he can spend organising the star-studded spectacular while in Ireland.

Mr McManus -- who runs his hugely successful business and is a tax resident in Geneva, Switzerland -- must spend less than 183 days a year in Ireland, or 280 days over two years. This limits the amount of time he can spend organising the high-profile charity tournament.

The pro-am brought the world's best golfers and A-list stars to Limerick every five years, and raised over €100m for charities, but will not go ahead next year.

The first event in 1990 was a far more modest affair than the last in 2010 -- which was attended by Tiger Woods, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones and Samuel L Jackson and raised €43m for charities.

The decision to end the invitational tournament at Adare Manor is understood to have been made in recent days by Mr McManus (63) after he held meetings with close associates involved in its running.

RARE

The pro-am quickly established itself as the biggest single fundraising event for charity in the country. In Mr McManus's native Limerick, the two-day event reached legendary status as hundreds of organisations and groups benefited.

However, it has now emerged that the 2010 event, which saw 80,000 travel to Adare to catch a glimpse of Tiger Woods in a rare public appearance following his marriage collapse, was the last pro-am.

Speaking to the 'Limerick Leader' just over a year ago, Mr McManus indicated that the country's tax residency laws would influence any decision he made. "It takes an enormous amount of time and now we have less time than we had a few years ago -- the rules have changed.

"It used to be nights in the country -- now it's days. So if I come in at 7pm and go out at seven in the morning that counts as two days here."

He denied he was a 'tax exile', saying: "For me a tax exile is somebody who leaves the country in order to avoid paying a particular tax that was due in the country.

"If you leave the country and you don't want to come back -- you don't want to do anything here -- then you're an emigrant.

"If you go abroad and do well and you decide you want to come back, you're an exile. But people think differently on these things," he said.

Irish Independent

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