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Crucial Mayo GAA meeting in next ten days


'A SCOPING EXERCISE'  John Prenty, Secretary of Connacht GAA, is to meet with Mayo GAA officials in the coming days. Pic: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Mayo GAA summoned to talks with Connacht Council and Croke Park officials

Edwin McGreal

Showdown talks between Mayo GAA and high-ranking GAA officials are set to take place inside the next ten days.
Connacht GAA Secretary John Prenty confirmed this to The Mayo News last night (Monday).
Mayo GAA have been summoned to the meeting by their immediate superiors, the Connacht GAA Council. It is the first time Mayo GAA have ever been summoned in such a fashion by GAA chiefs.  
In an email sent by Mr Prenty to Mayo GAA officers on Thursday afternoon last, Mr Prenty said Mayo GAA chiefs have been ‘instructed’ to attend a meeting with Connacht Council officers and Central Council officials to discuss the ongoing dispute between the County Board and the Mayo GAA International Supporters’ Foundation.
The correspondence says Mayo GAA officials must attend the meeting ‘in light of the situation pertaining to the difficulties being experienced by Mayo County Committee, and following discussions this morning with Ard Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan’.
Mr Prenty added the purpose of the meeting is to ‘scope the full extent of the problem and to help the County Committee to reach a solution that will be sustainable into the future’.
“We can only start with the GAA body – Mayo GAA in this case. If we need to talk to other people, we can explore that.
“We will scope the full extent of the issue in this meeting. The first meeting is exactly that – a scoping exercise. We cannot predict where we will go after that. It will be a collaborative effort with Mayo, the Connacht Council and Croke Park to solve this impasse,” Mr Prenty told The Mayo News.
He said a date is expected to be set for the meeting no earlier than tomorrow (Wednesday).
One of the objectives of the talks is expected to attempt to break the impasse between Mayo GAA officials and Tim O’Leary of the Mayo GAA International Supporters’ Foundation.
Currently the Foundation are withholding €250,000 which was raised at a gala fundraising function in New York last May over what the Foundation are citing as ‘governance issues’.
Connacht GAA are summonsing Mayo pursuant to their powers under the GAA’s Rule 3.30(i) T.O 2019. Only provincial councils can summons county boards – GAA headquarters can not.
The Mayo News understands Rule 3.30 has been used in the past to summons counties to such talks but this is the first time Mayo have been instructed under Rule 3.30. The last Connacht county to be so summoned was Roscommon.
The Mayo News understands that at last Thursday’s behind closed doors meeting, a club delegate proposed that mediation be entered into. That proposal is believed to have received the unanimous backing of delegates.