Saturday 21 April 2018

Pat Spillane - I've been informed that Kerry GAA and Dr Crokes won't benefit from Colm Cooper testimonial

Read Pat Spillane every week in the Sunday World

Colm Cooper
Colm Cooper

Pat Spilllane

Well Colm Cooper's testimonial dinner went ahead and the earth didn't spin out of orbit. In the end it turned out to be a relatively low-key event at which the usual suspects from other sports attended.

I am reliably informed, however, that neither Kerry GAA nor Dr Crokes GAA will benefit financially from the gig. They have been instructed by the powers that be not to accept any money from it.

On the back of this development I assume the organising committee of the testimonial dinner will issue a new statement outlining how the proceeds will be distributed.

Gooch had his defenders on social media and there was a certain circling of the wagons prior to the event but the general consensus was that it wasn't a good move and it certainly left a bad taste.

Last Sunday I met several County Board officials, dozens of club officers and other die-hard GAA people.

Not a single one of them was in favour of Gooch's testimonial dinner.

So, while Colm has made a significant short term game, I think he could lose out in the longer term.

Kerry GAA officials are privately seething over it.

The county's GAA Centre of Excellence is now nearing completion - it will have eventually cost €7m and there is still a shortfall of almost €3m.

The issue for the county board is that Gooch's gig was tapping into the people and companies that they would have been looking at to provide finance for the centre.

There was an interesting ad in the Templenoe v An Gaeltacht match programme last Sunday. A tribute dinner for the Ó Sé brothers Darragh, Tomás and Marc is being planned for the INEC in Killarney next month with all funds raised going towards a new pitch development being undertaken by An Gaeltacht.

Now, if you want to honour former great players this is the way to go about it because it ensure that the club that nurtured them for years is rewarded.

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