Sunday 21 July 2019

'If there's an imbalance, correct it and let us move on' - Tomás Ó Sé on Dublin funding debate

Raheny clubmates Brian Howard and Brian Fenton celebrate with the Delaney Cup in Croke park on Sunday. The debate over senior teams' expenses rages, but there is a solution. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Raheny clubmates Brian Howard and Brian Fenton celebrate with the Delaney Cup in Croke park on Sunday. The debate over senior teams' expenses rages, but there is a solution. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

John Morley

Kerry legend Tomás Ó Sé questioned critics of the GAA's funding model who claim Dublin get excessive investment to back up their criticism with 'facts and figures'.

After Dublin hammered Meath by sixteen points in the Leinster final, the overriding sentiment was that the Dubs' nine-in-a-row dominance of the province is due in part to the high amount of financial backing they receive from GAA H.Q.

The GAA currently gives 22% of Central Council funding to develop football in the capital and has seen the Dubs garner over €17m in funding since 2007, with Cork coming in second at just over €1m.

O Sé wants critics of the Dublin funding model to show hard evidence to prove they are getting over-financed before discrediting the achievements of the five-in-a-row seeking crop of players.

"You see all these guys on Twitter and they're arguing about it and saying that [Dublin] have an unfair advantage. Are there facts and figures to back that up?" said Ó Sé on The Throw-In podcast in association with Bord Gáis Energy.

"Per-head or per-capita, or whatever way it's balanced out. Give us the facts and figures and numbers that prove that the Dubs are getting a wrong amount of money. For me, I haven't seen them."

The Irish Independent columnist highlighted that Dublin have their own issues like land prices for developing pitches, club capacity issues with a growing population, and he urged people not to pin the current crop of Dublin players' success on money.

"All we're hearing, all the time is from the nay-sayers telling us that there is an imbalance. If there's an imbalance, correct it and let us move on," said Ó Sé.

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The An Gaeltacht club-man admitted that there was a huge investment by the GAA in Dublin and believes if it has bore fruit, then the funding should be revised accordingly.

"There is an argument that the rest of us are better off when Dublin are going well. Way back when Dublin were going very poorly, was there an investment from the sports council into Dublin? Was that investment dropped by the sports council and carried on by the GAA? And is it still being paid by the GAA?" said Ó Sé.

"If it is a case that Dublin are getting money that they don't deserve, I don't think that they should be getting it."

Ó Sé believes the manner in which Dublin destroyed Meath, who will play in the top tier of league football next season, rules out the elimination of drubbings a tiered championship promised as long as Dublin are involved.

"So the tiered championship would work well if Meath were one of those top tier teams and there wouldn't be one-sided battles? I think when the Dubs are involved there's always going to be one-sided battles and especially in Leinster," said Ó Sé.

"There's six of those Leinster teams still involved in the championship and I suppose there's just a huge gap between Dublin and the rest of the country at the moment."

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