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Plans for Mayo's €250k funding unclear

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Supporters chair, Tim O’Leary

Supporters chair, Tim O’Leary

Supporters chair, Tim O’Leary

The question of what now happens the €250,000 at the centre of the protracted dispute between the Mayo county board and the Mayo International Supporters Foundation, chaired by millionaire trader Tim O'Leary, will frame the fall-out between the parties after the board's decision on Monday night to cut off dialogue with O'Leary.

Despite agreement at the end of January to end the dispute, which has been ongoing since last summer, the money still rests with the foundation and has not yet been transferred to a Mayo GAA account. Without some "dialogue," that process is going to be difficult to complete.

Mayo took the decision to terminate their dealings with O'Leary after his tweet calling for the removal of manager James Horan in the wake of the county's nine-point defeat to Monaghan in Clones on Sunday.

O'Leary was not at the game - he was at the Ireland v England Six Nations match in Twickenham - and admitted he was under the influence of alcohol when he posted it.

Only a few days earlier he had tweeted that Horan was the right man for the position despite the list of injuries and challenges that they were facing.

It is understood however, that relations between the manager and the financier, who had given €150,000 of his own money before organising the gala dinner in New York last May that generated the €250,000 in question, had not been all that harmonious in recent months.

O'Leary subsequently took the tweet down and apologised for it on Monday morning but by then Mayo were already planning an executive meeting at which they decided to cut ties and, presumably, their losses.

When peace broke out in January it was stated that the €250,000 would be released to Mayo GAA "in accordance with the April 9, 2019 email".

In that email, written by O'Leary in advance of New York setting out the terms and conditions, it was outlined that the further development of an academy would benefit from the money and that was still the intention up to Monday night's decision.

The Mayo board, it appears, were willing to run the risk of potentially losing that money.

They came to the decision as fatigue grew over the focus that relations with the foundation, and particularly O'Leary, was putting on the county.

The board executive felt that protocols agreed in January were broken by O'Leary with his comment about Horan, referring to "behaviours (that) deviate from what has been mandated by our clubs".

The foundation's money may still, however, reach its intended target.


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