Donegal’s run to September’s All Ireland final contributed to a significant increase on the cost of running county teams in 2012.
Figures released in Donegal GAA County Board’s accounts ahead of this weekend’s annual County Convention reveal that it cost close on €895,000 to run county teams this year.
This marks an increase of almost 50 per cent on last year year’s figures.
The audited accounts which were released to the county’s 39 clubs and the media on Monday, show the cost of running all of the county’s football and hurling teams - including sides at underage level - has risen by just over €€312,000 from 2011.
Last year it cost €€581,938 to run county teams in all competitions while in 2012, that figure rose to €€894,487 and while the figure covers all teams, it’s safe to assume that the biggest chunk of the expenditure went on the county senior team and the winning of the All-Ireland.
Overnights and a team holiday at €€286,083 and players’ travelling expenses at €€192,373 are the big items which are included in team expenses.
On the income side, fundraising at €€297,438 and sponsorship at €245,663 are the most notable figures with money coming into the county’s coffers reaching close on €1.5 million.
Overall the county’s finances are in a good state with current assets (€582,839) exceeding current liabilities (€407,537) by €175,302 and income for the year (€€1,425,063) exceeding expenditure (€1,294,300) by €€23,640.
The accounts, which have been audited by Bonner, Gill & Co. in Letterkenny, will go before Sunday’s annual Convention of Donegal GAA for approval.
Meanwhile, it’s no great surprise that Donegal’s back-to-back Ulster championship success and the All-Ireland final triumph over Mayo at the end of September, is the highlight of secretary Aodh Mairtin O’Fearraigh’s report to Convention.
“It was a privilege to serve as county secretary of this great association in Donegal in what was a historic year for Donegal Gaels,” begins the secretary in his report.
“Winning back-to-back Ulster titles for the first time ever, in what is the most competitive of the provincial championships, and going on to winning our second ever All Ireland title was a marvellous achievement,” added the Gaoth Dobhair clubman
He went on to recall the triumphant run which he noted began as underdogs to retain the Ulster title, before going into the All-Ireland final as hot favourites.
“Winning an All Ireland title is something all footballers dream of. The dream of 33 Donegal players has now become a reality after seven tough games, and two years of hard work that started in January 2011.
“Great credit is due to every single player on this panel who have made huge personal sacrifices to enable them to compete at the highest level and to beat the top teams in the country to capture their dreams.”
He paid tribute to manager Jim McGuinness and his management team and congratulated all the players on the success and also the eight players - Paul Durcan, Neil McGee, Karl Lacey, Frank McGlynn, Neil Gallagher, Mark McHugh, Colm McFadden and Michael Murphy - who picked up All-Star awards.
And he also congratulated hurlers Ardal McDermott and Lee Henderson on their Lory Meagher All- Star awards.
“Jim McGuinness and his management team deserve huge credit for this great achievement. I wish to thank Rory Gallagher, Maxi Curran, Pat Shovelin, Dermot Simpson, Dr Charlie McManus, Mr Kevin Moran, Adam Speer and Michael McMenamin for their work with the team.”
In a wide ranging and detailed report that covers all aspects of the game in the county, from club football, to hurling, to cultural activities, the secretary also expressed his appreciation to the county’s faithful supporters who supported both on the terraces and financially through the many fundraising activities organised in the course of the year.