Friday 17 January 2020

GAA reveal 'legacy' of €35m Croke Park windfall

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The destinations of the first slice of the €35m which the GAA has amassed from hiring out Croke Park for international rugby and soccer games has been revealed.

Major projects approved or undergoing appraisal, and local projects across the country have been identified as beneficiaries of the windfall gleaned over last four years.

Since the first oval ball was kicked in anger in February 2007, some 26 internationals have been played at the GAA headquarters, 13 in each code.

With two more Six Nations matches scheduled over the next four weeks, it will bring the total number of international games played during the four-year period since the then Rule 42 was relaxed to 28, yielding just over €35m for the GAA.

The announcement of the project list and the finance yesterday by the GAA's Director of Finance, Tom Ryan, and chairman of the infrastructure and development committee, Seamus McCloy, was sound justification for the opening up of the stadium.

At the time the GAA had promised to ring-fence the money for projects over and above what was being funded anyway.

So far €8m has been distributed to clubs and counties for special infrastructural projects.

Each county will be given €250,000 to devote to projects at their own discretion within their county, the rest of the money will be distributed by the infrastructure and finance committees to the projects they feel are worthwhile.

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When the current list of projects is completed, it is estimated by Ryan that up to €100m, the balance being raised by the units (counties and clubs) themselves, will have been spent.

"The revenues are non recurring so we always had to treat it as a windfall gain," said Ryan.

"The idea was to leave a legacy behind for the four years that the stadium was open to the other associations.

"The emphasis was put on capital infrastructure, but capital from a playing and participation point of view, not spectating, not administration," added Ryan.

Up to 98 capital projects have been identified, with €26m being allocated for the more significant ones.

"We'll get one chance at it, once chance to get it right. Hopefully, within the next 18 months we will see the benefits of this rolled out," said McCloy.

GAA president Christy Cooney outlined that this money was separate from the association's other investment in capital programmes.

Meanwhile, McCloy has withdrawn from the race to be the next Ulster president, paving the way for current vice-president Aoghan Farrell to be elected next week.

Antrim chairman John McSparran has withdrawn from the vice-chairman contest, so current treasurer Martin McAviney will fill that role.



Training Centres

Clare (Tulla), Limerick (Rathkeale), Waterford (Carriganore),

Tipperary (Dr Morris Park), Tyrone (Garvaghy), Cavan (Breffni Park), Antrim (Dunsilly), Derry (Owenbeg), Louth (Darver),

Donegal (Convoy), Kildare (Hawkfield), Cork (Showgrounds),

Mayo (Ballyhaunis), Dublin (Rathcoole and Clontarf), Westmeath (Mullingar).


Training Centres

Galway (Loughgeorge and Mountain Sout), Roscommon (Runnalacken), Leitrim (Annaduff) Sligo (tbc), Meath ( Dunganny), Wicklow ( Ballinakill), Longford (tbc), Westmeath (tbc),

Offaly (tbc), Monaghan ( Annyalla), Wexford ( Ferns).

Club developments

Mayo (Knockmore, Ballintubber, Ballyhaunis, Westport, Ballaghdereen, Garrymore, Kiltimagh, Claremorris, Breaffy, Tooreen), Sligo (St Mary's, Coolaney/Mullinabreena, St Michael's, St Molaise Gaels, Enniscrone/Kilglass), Westmeath (The Downs, Tang, Castletown-Geoghegan, Killucan, Clonkill, Ballymore, Ballynacargy, Castledaly, Brownstown, Bunbrosna), Limerick (Newcastle West, Glenrue, Castletown Ballyagran, Croagh Kilfinny, Garryspillane, Kildimo, Knockaderry, Galtee Gaels, Murroe Boher, Tournafulla), Tipperary (Cashel Kilcormacs, Holycross Ballycahill, Golden Kilfeacle, Silvermines, Nenagh Eire Og, Toomevara, Moyle Rovers, Fethard, JK Brackens, Arravale Rovers), Down ( Attical, An Riocht, Tullylish,St John's, Mayobridge, Kilcoo, Drumaness, Drumgath, Dromara, Clonduff), Fermanagh (Bellnaleck, Aghadrumsee, Brookeborough, Derrygonnelly, Irvinestown, Kinawley, Lisbellaw, Lisnaskea, Maguiresbridge, Tempo, Teemore. Overseas (Leeds, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Rockland (New York).


Coaching and games plans in handball, camogie and ladies football.


Training centres in Carlow (Fenagh) and Cork (tbc), club developments in Kerry, Clare, Dublin, Waterford, Armagh, Laois and Kilkenny.

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