Sport GAA

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Mayo set to meet with GAA chiefs following row with benefactor

The Mayo county board are due to meet with senior GAA officials . Stock photo: Sportsfile
The Mayo county board are due to meet with senior GAA officials . Stock photo: Sportsfile

The Mayo county board has been summoned to a meeting with senior GAA officials to discuss the ongoing row between it and a supporters group headed by millionaire businessman Tim O'Leary over governance issues.

The move follows discussions between the Connacht Council and GAA director general Tom Ryan.

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Senior GAA figures are understood to have grown impatient that the row, which has been rumbling for months, has not been resolved and continues to attract publicity.

The Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation has been withholding €250,000 which was raised at a gala dinner in New York earlier this year "until appropriate governance structures are put in place".

The cash was earmarked for an academy and a centre of excellence, but the foundation says it will not release the funds until business plans for both projects have been produced and reviewed.

Its chairman, English-born interest rate derivatives trader Tim O'Leary, has also raised concerns over how €150,000 he donated towards the preparation of the Mayo senior footballers in 2018 was used. He claims receipts supplied to him did not reflect the terms attached to the donation.

A letter from Connacht Council secretary John Prenty was circulated by the Mayo county board to clubs in the county.

It stated that "in light of the situation pertaining to the difficulties currently being experienced by Mayo county committee" and following discussions with Ryan, the Connacht Council was exercising its powers to instruct county board officers to attend a meeting with Central Council and Connacht Council officers in the coming weeks.

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A date for the meeting will be set in the coming days.

Mayo county board chairman Mike Connolly has insisted there are no governance issues in the county and previously rejected the suggestion that Croke Park may be required to intervene.

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