Wednesday 21 March 2018

Top Dublin club in financial peril

Thomas Davis call emergency meeting to tackle debt

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

AMID increasing fears that the deepening recession will leave sports clubs all over the country facing serious money problems, a top Dublin GAA club has called an emergency meeting to discuss what it terms "the current perilous state of the finances."

The Tallaght-based Thomas Davis club has conceded that it is “no longer in a position to meet its on-going financial commitments” and has invited past and present members to a meeting next Monday night where details of the situation will be revealed and ideas discussed as to how it might be addressed.

It’s understood that the debt is around €2m. In a letter to members, Thomas Davis chairman Andrew O’Donnell presents a stark picture of the club’s predicament.

“Due to significant investment in the club’s facilities over the years, the most recent and most expensive being the allweather pitch, the club debt has increased substantially to a point whereby the club is no longer in a position to meet its on-going financial commitments,” O’Donnell writes.

“The current recession and the effect it has had on many of our members and projects that were proposed have contributed in no small way to the current situation.

“The purpose of this emergency meeting is to highlight the issues, suggest some remedies that members will support and hopefully to tap into the undoubted goodwill that exists among our overall membership to come up with additional solutions.

“We are appealing to all members – past and present – who care about the financial survival of this great club to make it your business to attend this critical meeting,” concluded O’Donnell.

He declined to comment further on the club’s situation when contacted yesterday. Thomas Davis has always been regarded as a very progressive club, catering for a large catchment area on Dublin’s southside, so news of its financial problems will resonate across the wider GAA and sporting communities at a time when income streams are reducing rapidly in all sectors.

Thomas Davis won three successive Dublin senior football titles in 1989-90- 91 with teams which featured Dublin stars Paul Curran and Dave Foran.

They were Leinster champions in 1990-91 and reached the ’92 All-Ireland final, losing to the Killarney side Dr Crokes.

In more recent times they led a concerted campaign to have the new Tallaght Stadium designated for general use, including Gaelic games.

However, following a lengthy trail through the planning and legal processes, the bid failed.

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