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Mayo GAA Board chiefs criticised

Sport

COMMENTSTim O’Leary

Mike Finnerty

SENIOR officers of the Mayo GAA Board have been accused of ‘a lack of professionalism’ by Tim O’Leary, the chairman of the Mayo GAA International Supporters’ Foundation.
Mr O’Leary made his remarks in a social media post last weekend as he outlined the reasons — ‘with great regret’ — that ‘due to a breakdown in relations, our foundation can no longer work with Mayo GAA in their current structure’.
Mr O’Leary, who was described as ‘one of the greatest Mayo supporters of all time’ by Mayo County Board chairman, Mike Connelly, at a gala fund-raising dinner in New York organised by the Mayo GAA International Supporters’ Foundation four months ago, added that the Foundation has €225,000 in its current account and had already spent €400,000 this year.
However, he said he had ‘become totally frustrated with the County Board and the unprofessional manner it conducts its business.’
“I’m just one of hundreds of successful Mayo people around the world who want to support Mayo GAA,” he said. “The Foundation’s key objective was to align these individuals behind a common cause which is to provide Mayo GAA with a sustainable funding stream to continue to compete and ultimately win All-Irelands at all grades.”
A Mayo GAA spokesperson declined to respond to Mr O’Leary’s remarks when contacted by The Mayo News last night (Monday).
Mr O’Leary also said last weekend that the Foundation planned to donate a dozen footballs to every football club in Mayo and make a cash donation to the hurling clubs.
He also pledged to donate €10,000 to the Mayo ladies senior football team supporters’ club, Mayo mBan.
On its website, the Mayo GAA International Supporters’ Foundation is described as ‘an independent Foundation of volunteers who come from a variety of professional backgrounds, who are passionate about supporting Mayo GAA.
“We work in collaboration with the Mayo GAA and other supporter groups globally to provide the required resources and expertise to help build and deliver success for Mayo GAA both on and off the pitch.
“Our main focus is to harness this global support for the future development of the Mayo GAA including our new Underage Academy initiative, our new state of the art Mayo GAA Training & Development Centre in Castlebar, and other player welfare, educational and development programs. We also help support local charities that have a strong link to helping worthy causes in the Mayo community.”
The Foundation is registered as a not-for-profit corporation in the USA.
At the time of going to print last night, The Mayo News understands that efforts are being made to resolve the impasse between the Mayo GAA Board and the International Supporters’ Foundation.

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