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Kettle: Cuts to funding will create 'wasteland'

DUBLIN GAA chiefs have vowed to fight "tooth and nail" against Croke Park proposals to reduce their level of funding from central coffers.

"We have a very, very strong case to justify the funding that we're getting," declared county board chairman Andy Kettle, who warned that any cutbacks could compromise Dublin's capacity to keep over 50 coaches in full-time employment.

The scale of the proposed 2015 reduction - recommended by the GAA's National Financial Management Committee - has not been fleshed out.

However, Kettle revealed a HQ plan to ditch the €11,000 granted to the Fingal hurlers and claimed that, if implemented, this would probably result in their withdrawal from the NHL.

WEAKER COUNTIES

Dublin's top elected chairman rejected the argument that unless Croke Park introduced funding 'equalisation' to help weaker counties who can't attract big-money sponsors, then the Sky Blue footballers would pull further away from the field.

"If we don't continue to do that we're doing and go backwards, you have the possibility of an area with a fifth of the population of the country becoming a wasteland for GAA," Kettle claimed.

"We've no problem in increased funding to other counties," he clarified. "In fact, at a recent Ard Comhairle meeting, Dublin spoke strongly in favour of such an initiative to weaker counties whereby specific things like strength and conditioning, dieticians, all the auxiliary things, would be funded by the central organisation - to give those counties an opportunity to improve their playing standards.

"We have absolutely no problem with and are fully behind that - but not at our expense."


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