Friday 28 July 2017

Dublin's games development funding bonanza facing cuts

Dublin celebrate retaining the Sam Maguire
Dublin celebrate retaining the Sam Maguire
GAA Director of Finance Tom Ryan. Photo: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

The GAA is to address the major imbalance between games development funding for Dublin and the rest of the country, which has seen almost 16pc of a €28m pot spent in the capital over the past three years.

Dublin scooped €1.46m of a €10.1m fund last year, bringing their total for three years to €4.4m. Cork received the second highest allocation last year, taking in €249,000.

Dublin's dominance of the fund is attracting attention in other counties at a time when football and hurling are booming in the capital. Tom Ryan, GAA finance director, said at yesterday's launch of the 2016 accounts that the imbalance between Dublin and other counties was being examined.

"It's tricky one - I don't mind admitting that," he said. "We've given it a fair bit of thought. The short answer is, no it won't persist over the next few years.

"There's not going to be a revolutionary change. We'll change it in evolutionary terms rather than in one fell swoop. I'd ask people to look at it in the context of overall funding that's going under any number of headings to the various counties.

"Dublin stand out in one aspect but, year on year, there will be other counties that benefit significantly under other headings."

While Dublin may suffer some cuts, the objective is to increase other counties' funding for games development. Ryan said that the GAA Finance Committee were looking at various options.

"In terms of bridging the gap, it won't be possible to do that without some degree of diminution in Dublin's funding and there will be a modest kind of calibration of that in 2017."

The GAA's overall accounts for 2016 show that despite a drop in Championship attendances last year, gate receipts rose by €3.3m to €30.1m, due mainly to replays in the All-Ireland football final and the Kilkenny-Waterford hurling semi-final.

It helped swell overall income to €60.5m, €4m up on 2015.

Irish Independent

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