Roscommon ask Croker to help repay €1m loan
GAA bosses in Roscommon are to ask Croke Park officials to help them repay a loan of €1m to a supporter who bailed them out of a financial crisis almost five years ago.
Croke Park guaranteed the €1m interest-free loan, which was given by Castlerea businessman John Murphy in 2005 and which must be repaid by 2012.
Roscommon set up a fund to repay the money and while more than €200,000 has been paid into an account, Roscommon are looking for Croke Park to repay the loan in full in two years' time and allow them an extension of time of 10 to 15 years to to come up with the money to reimburse the GAA hierarchy.
Roscommon GAA bosses stress that Murphy, a lifelong Roscommon supporter, will be repaid his loan in 2012. Chairman Michael McGuire told the recent annual convention that the issue was being addressed now because it was apparent that they would not have the full amount in October 2012, when the loan is due for repayment.
He said that the repayment schedule was based on assumptions which had not materialised, including the sale of seats at a revamped Hyde Park, but work there has not yet begun.
The drop in sponsorship and commercial income and the changed economic environment from the time the loan was made were all factors.
"It is good financial management to address this now and we understand Croke Park will respond in a positive manner to our request," said McGuire.
Roscommon County Board auditor Sean Mulhern said that discussions are currently taking place with Croke Park.
"A sinking fund account was set up in 2006 in order to meet the repayment of John Murphy's loan. To date €203,746 has been lodged to Croke Park deposit account for this purpose," he explained.
Elsewhere, Armagh's record points-scorer Oisin McConville reports that his winter training regime is "going well" but he has still to decide whether he will accept an invitation to return to inter-county duty.
New Armagh manager Paddy O'Rourke has asked McConville to consider a return and the Crossmaglen sharpshooter has been training hard in recent weeks.
"I have been training with Crossmaglen and I have been happy with how it has been going," revealed McConville.
O'Rourke's new charges are due to play their McKenna Cup opener against Fermanagh on Sunday, weather permitting. The Orchard men will also play Monaghan and UUJ in the competition.
McConville was a key player in the historic 2002 All-Ireland championship success, Armagh's first and only Sam Maguire success. He has also won four All-Ireland club medals, and 14 Ulster championships for club and county.