Mayo GAA warning over fraudulent sponsorship
Mayo GAA officials have issued a warning to businesses and the public about "fraudulent fundraising" for the county's football team.
Mayo face Tipperary in the All-Ireland Football Semi-Final on Sunday but senior Mayo officials said that amid the team's success, attempts have been made by unknown individuals to get money through fraudulent sponsorship offers.
"The Mayo GAA County Board would like to warn all supporters to be aware of fraudulent fundraising activity that is happening as a result of the success of our teams," said spokesman Paul Cunnane last night.
"It has come to our attention that there are certain organisations (claiming) to be raising funds for Mayo teams on behalf of the Mayo County Board," he said.
"These organisations are using the success of our teams to mislead our very loyal supporters into contributing financially, claiming that their funds will go towards the team training funds.
"Supporters should be aware that the only funds raised that go towards our team training funds are those raised under our Cáirde Mhaigheo fundraising umbrella and only authorised by the Executive of Mayo County Board.
He told the Irish Independent that businesses have been receiving calls from people offering to put their names on posters or calenders "or other souvenir items with the promise their payment will go to the training fund of the Mayo team".
"Some people reported receiving suspicious calls. We believe these calls may not be just being made to businesses in Mayo but also to supporters elsewhere such as London or America.
"But all relevant information for legitimate sponsorship is available on the county's GAA website. It costs around €1m a year to train the teams," he said.
He said attempts were made to gain money from supporters by fraud by similar methods in 2012 and 2013.
Mr Cunnane estimated that up to €20,000 could have been defrauded from people by fraudulent sponsorship schemes during those years.
"If anyone is unsure whether a fundraising activity is legitimately going towards the team training fund then please contact the Mayo County Board office on 094-9250487 or any officer of the Executive," he said.