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Mayo GAA chiefs attend Croke Park meeting

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MEETING Senior officers of the Mayo GAA Board met GAA officials at a meeting in Croke Park last Friday. Pic: Michael McLaughlin

Mike Finnerty

FIVE senior Mayo GAA officials attended a meeting in Croke Park last Friday afternoon to discuss the ongoing dispute between them and the Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation.
The GAA’s Director General Tom Ryan, as well as Connacht GAA secretary John Prenty, and other Croke Park and Connacht Council representatives are understood to have been briefed about the background to the saga by the Mayo GAA officials present.
The Mayo GAA delegation was made up of chairman Mike Connelly, vice-chairman Seamus Tuohy, secretary Dermot Butler, treasurer Kevin O’Toole and PRO Paul Cunnane.
They had been ‘instructed’ to attend the meeting by Connacht GAA secretary John Prenty, following discussions with the GAA’s Árd Stiúrthóir.
Prenty told The Mayo News earlier this month that the purpose of the meeting was 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,” remarked Prenty at the time.
“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.”
Contrary to some speculation last Friday evening, no Mayo GAA Board official was asked to step aside at the meeting in Croke Park.
The International Supporters Foundation continues to withhold €250,000 that was raised at a fund-raiser in New York last May due to what it terms as ‘concerns over governance’ with Mayo GAA.
Business plans for a number of projects that were earmarked for the funds raised at the function in America have also not been produced by Mayo GAA officials.
The prospect of an independent mediator being appointed to try and break the impasse remains one of the most likely outcome at this stage.
A proposal to enter meditation was made by a club delegate at a recent Mayo GAA Board meeting and is known to have received significant support.
The Mayo News understands that tentative efforts to resolve the stand-off between Mayo GAA chiefs and the Foundation have also restarted behind the scenes.
But it remains to be seen what senior GAA officials at Croke Park and Connacht Council officials will decide to do next following last Friday’s sit-down with Mayo GAA officers.
An executive meeting of the Mayo GAA Board was being held last night (Monday) at MacHale Park, Castlebar where the officers who attended last Friday’s meeting were expected to bring their colleagues on the executive committee up to speed.

 

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