“Dublin GAA, in the 2007 to 2017 period, per head of population received nearly three times as much as the rest of the country.”
John Connellan has written to every county secretary outside of Dublin looking to bring forward a motion.
The motion calls for games development funding to be allocated on the basis of the number of registered GAA members in each county.
John Connellan Dublin funding
Back in November, Connellan wrote an open letter to the GAA asking all county boards to look at the Dublin funding issue.
However, he didn’t get a response and has decided to bring a motion forward for the GAA Congress 2022.
Writing to GAA clubs, the ex-Westmeath footballer started looking at the numbers distributed from the GAA to Dublin clubs.
He said: “Dublin GAA have been in receipt of direct funding to their clubs of €16,612,847 in centrally-administered GAA coaching and games development funding in the period from 2007-2017. This level of direct support has continued.
“This has allowed nearly every GAA Club in Dublin to employ a Games Promotion Officer on the basis of matching funding. Some Dublin clubs have been able to employ multiple coaches on the back of such funding.
“For the purposes of clarity, such a scheme has never been made universally available to clubs outside of Dublin.”
The motion argued that a lot of opposing counties are struggling to compete with Dublin.
It continued: “Dublin have received €14.16 per person with only €5 allocated per head of population outside of Dublin, nearly three times higher.”
“Furthermore, it highlights the disparity in funding between this year’s two All Ireland finalists.
“Mayo during 2010-2014, received €22.30 per registered club player in the county. Dublin by stark contrast, received over ten times this amount in the same period, at €270.70 per club registered players.
“There were calls at the Mayo GAA Convention in 2019 that a motion be placed at Annual Congress to address this unfairness.
“In addition, following this year’s All Ireland final, current Offaly County Board Chairman and media pundit, Michael Duignan made similar calls.”
Dublin “Super Clubs”
Connellan focused in on Dublin’s “Super Clubs” and believes the ability of these clubs to increase their membership fees and attract more sponsorship deals give them an unfair advantage on other clubs outside of Dublin.
He said: “The document has outlined in its analysis how most Dublin GAA clubs have seen a doubling of its membership income, with some clubs now taking in excess of €500,000 per annum.
“It cites the sizeable sponsorship deals that Dublin clubs are now achieving, with one Dublin club not even at Senior A level, securing a five-year deal totalling €175,000 or €35,000 per annum that many counties outside of Dublin would find hard to achieve.
“The document outlines how Dublin GAA is now self-sustainable with no need for a continuance of the coaching and development funding from Croke Park with Dublin County Board itself achieving a €2.7 million surplus on its operations in its last published accounts.”
This is it in a nutshell. A lot of work from volunteers across the country has gone in to producing this document and motion. The power of the @officialgaa vests in the clubs and county boards. Please encourage your clubs and CB to get behind this motion. https://t.co/5bJaAjqpty
— John Connellan (@johnC_BL) January 4, 2021
Key stakeholders in the GAA
John Connellan used the final part of the document to focus on some of the key stakeholders in the GAA and their response to the Dublin funding issue.
He stated: “The current GAA President, John Horan and Na Fianna member in Dublin, made public statements in responding to the suggestion of this motion that Dublin GAA funding was ‘distorted’ and ‘I think there needs to be greater analysis of it’ in attempting to suggest that the funding did not have beneficial impacts for Dublin senior teams.
“Indeed, the current GAA President is correct. The figures are distorted and do not take into account the doubling of membership incomes of many Dublin GAA clubs, the substantial sponsorship deals these clubs can access and its county board are aware of, and the strength of the Dublin GAA brand.”
Connellan also made the point that GAA director-general Tom Ryan is a member of Dublin club Faughs.
“The Ard Stiurthoir has been instrumental in ensuring the status quo remained,” he said about Ryan.
“In 2017, in presenting his annual report, he made public comments that Dublin funding would be dealt with incrementally and then the following year quite amazingly the funding to Dublin GAA increased in spite of his public statements in the previous years.”
John Connellan Twitter
John Connellan took to Twitter this week urging support for his motion.
“This is it in a nutshell. A lot of work from volunteers across the country has gone in to producing this document and motion. The power of the GAA vests in the clubs and county boards.
“Please encourage your clubs and CB [county boards] to get behind this motion.”
Connellan will need support of clubs across the country in order to bring the above Dublin funding motion to Congress next year.