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Dublin funding critics miss point: Ryan


GAA Ard Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan

GAA Ard Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan

GAA Ard Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan

GAA Ard Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan has refuted the notion that central funding to the Dublin county board is primarily responsible for the county's recent dominance of the All-Ireland SFC.

In his first major press briefing since taking over from Páraic Duffy in Croke Park's top office almost seven months ago, Ryan - the GAA's former financial director - stressed that there are no plans for any major reduction in Dublin's funding levels.

Speaking in Croke Park at the official announcement that hurling has been granted intangible cultural heritage status by UNESCO, Ryan also dampened speculation that the GAA would force county boards to pool their own sponsorship income and divide on a pro rata basis.

"I think the thing that people might miss a little bit on the funding side of things is that those funds don't go to preparing county teams," Ryan outlined, "they are not going to Pat Gilroy (sic) and Jim Gavin's panel, they are not going to augment or bolster the backroom teams of Dublin.

"Those funds go to employing coaches that go into primary schools and coach kids from the ages of six to 12 how to pick up a football or how to pick up a sliotar.

"I don't even know the number or proportion but an awful lot of those children who are getting that coaching and that PE (Physical Education), for want of a word, they are not even members of the GAA and they might never turn out to be members of the GAA. But that is what it is and that is what it does.

"The way you re-balance that is to try and do the same thing in other counties. And we have reduced a little bit the funding going to Dublin for that, but I don't really want to ... I think it is a good thing to be honest with you, and something to be proud of."