Sport GAA

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Supermac's escalate money dispute with Galway GAA county board


Pearse Stadium, home of Galway GAA, has plenty of Supermac’s signage but the sponsor has now questioned the county board. Photo: Sportsfile
Pearse Stadium, home of Galway GAA, has plenty of Supermac’s signage but the sponsor has now questioned the county board. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Supermac's have doubled down on their call for the Galway county board to reveal the findings of two reports into the finances in the county, insisting that "transparency and accountability are vital to confidence going forward".

In the second such statement inside a week from the county's major sponsor, Supermac's insisted it had no interest in making policy decisions but stated that "while a cloud hangs over the organisation it has an effect on the competitiveness and success of our teams".

Last week's statement outlined how the company - which is owned by Ballinasloe businessman Pat McDonagh - has contributed €1,599,426 over a five-year period, and called for clarity in how that money was spent.

Last night's statement repeated that call, stating it was "at a loss" as to why both reports had not been published.

"Supermac's acknowledges that a lot of honourable people contribute at all levels of the GAA and whilst there are the beginnings of a necessary change in culture, the path forward cannot be laid until the issues of the past are revealed.

"Supermac's seeks the transparency and accountability which are vital to confidence going forward. The first steps in this journey require that the two concluded reports into the finances of Galway GAA be published in full or otherwise further investigated by the relevant authorities. Supermac's is at a loss to understand why these reports have not been published.

"Supermac's has separate sponsorship arrangements with the Galway Camogie Board and the Galway Ladies Football Board. The figures released in Supermac's statement last week were not inclusive of these other sponsorships."

It's the latest in a series of setbacks for the beleaguered county board.

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Last year, an internal report was not published for legal reasons while an independent audit, carried out by Mazars on behalf of Croke Park, had 39 findings and recommendations.

In response to last week's statement, Galway GAA said that it was "implementing the findings of the 2018 Mazars Report… which ensures that the highest standards of financial and accounting practices are now in place.

Galway GAA chairman Pat Kearney could not be contacted for comment last night.

Earlier this week the hunt for Micheál Donoghue's successor as county senior hurling manager fell apart after the last two remaining candidates - Franny Forde and Noel Larkin - followed Tony Ward and withdrew from the race.

"The matter will go to the Galway Hurling Committee later this week and it will be up to the clubs to decide what course of action to take," Galway GAA secretary Seamus O'Grady said.

The county have also yet to appoint a new football manager. However, it's understood that Padraic Joyce and Liam Kearns have been interviewed in recent days.

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