Croke Park deny it urged county boards to back €5k-a-table Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh event for IT Tralee
The GAA has sought to clarify commentary around correspondence sent from the director-general's office to county secretaries giving them "preliminary notice" of an upcoming tribute event in honour of former broadcaster Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh aimed at raising funds for the IT Tralee's €16.5m Kerry Sports Academy.
The event, which takes place on Saturday, September 22 in the Clayton Hotel in Dublin, will honour the legendary broadcaster who holds a fellowship from IT Tralee and is a member of the IT Tralee Foundation Board.
A table of 10 will cost €5,000 and President Michael D Higgins will be a special guest.
The Kerry Sports Academy, when it is completed in early 2019, will be home to health and leisure programmes at IT Tralee, the UNESCO Chair in Inclusive Physical Education, Sport Fitness, and Recreation and the National Centre for Adapted Physical Activity (CARA).
A partnership between Kerry GAA and the sports academy has also been developed with a "dedicated GAA suite" being constructed, according to Kerry GAA, and this has been highlighted with questions over why counties would be served notice of an event by the director-general that would benefit another county.
That email, circulated last week, was followed up by a second explanatory letter to county secretaries from former Kerry star Ogie Moran.
"Because of Micheál's lifetime association with the GAA, we felt it would be appropriate to give the county boards first option to avail of a table, if they so wish to do so," that email explained.
A GAA spokesperson said the correspondence to county boards "was simply drawing attention to the event in case it was missed or sold out before any county who would like to support it, lost out on the opportunity to do so.
"It is not a GAA event. The proceeds are directed towards the Kerry Sports Academy at IT Tralee and Kerry GAA is one of five partners in the project."