Sunday 18 March 2018

Dublin's games development payments leave other counties in shade

GAA director of finance Tom Ryan:
GAA director of finance Tom Ryan: "The first thing to say about Dublin is that the money is being well spent." Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Dublin's continued dominance of the GAA's Games Development funding programme saw them scoop almost €1.47m last year.

That's over 14 per cent of the total allocation of €10.15m and leaves them €1.2m ahead of Cork, who were second highest on €249,000.

Offaly came next on €220,669, followed by Derry (€210,800), Kerry (€197,600) and Meath (€187,000).

The four provincial councils received €2.6m between them, with Leinster the highest on €822,961.

It will be spread among 11 counties, with Dublin receiving none of the allocation.

However, the fact that they received more than half as much as the four provincial councils combined, while also coming in so far ahead of all the other counties is certain to attract attention around the country at a time when Dublin are generating so much internal revenue, thanks to the unprecedented success of their senior footballers.

Dublin's large allocation - they also received almost €1.47m in 2015 - is explained on the basis of need in a county with such a massive population, catering for a large number of clubs while also attempting to grow Gaelic games in non- traditional GAA areas.

The GAA say that the imbalance between Dublin and the rest of the country will not continue.

However, the ambition is to increase funds elsewhere rather than undertake a sizeable cutback in the capital.

"The first thing to say about Dublin is that the money is being well spent. I would be far more uncomfortable if the level of investment was not being put to good use but I do understand the dynamic where people look at on-field results and the amount of funding," said Tom Ryan, GAA director of finance.

"I'm not sure the degree to which there's a 100 per cent correlation but it would be naive to assume that there's not some degree."

The aim is to increase allocations to other counties although that will be contingent on future income levels.

"We'll attempt to grow the other counties. We have already tried to do that this year," added Ryan.

Funding to the provincial councils has been cut in half but the difference has gone to the counties.

Mayo topped the team expenses allocation table last year, taking in €476,988, followed by Dublin on €381,226, Tipperary on €254,148 and Kerry on €235,672.

Almost €40m was paid out to counties, provinces and overseas units under a series of headings last year.

Irish Independent

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