10 euro membership levy under review

Donegal GAA officials are to review the controversial imposition of a €10 membership levy following a massive increase in membership in the county for 2013.

Donegal GAA officials are to review the controversial imposition of a €10 membership levy following a massive increase in membership in the county for 2013.

As anticipated following last September’s All-Ireland success and the raised profile of the game in the county, the adult membership in the county has more than doubled.

At the end of March 2012 total membership in Donegal stood at 13,372 made up of 6,396 adult members and 6,824 youth members, U-18.

At the end of last month, the official cut-off date for membership, total membership stands at 21,692 made up of 12,117 adult – almost double last year’s figure – and 9,237 youth members.

The 2012 figure increased by another 2,000 or so in the course of the summer as clubs accepted late membership as Donegal progressed in the championship.

These figures were revealed by county secretary, Aodh Mairtin O’Fearraigh, to the Donegal county committee at their monthly meeting on Tuesday night.

It lead to Ardara delegate, Mary Kelly, raise the issue of the €10 levy and query if the increase in membership was going to have any impact on the €10 levy on adult membership passed at the previous months.

“The increase means that the income from the levy is €40,000 more than was targeted and as a consequence is there a possibility that the board might have a look at the situation and consider reducing the levy,” asked the Ardara delegate.

In response county chairman, Sean Dunnion, stated that they were aware of the increase in the membership, but did not have time to discuss it. But he assured the committee it was something that they would take a look at and review.

The levy was passed at the March meeting, and is a one-off levy for just the one year to raise much needed funds for the hard pressed county coffers. The levy is on adult membership only and does not apply to underage members.

Some clubs imposed the levy on the members but the vast majority took the hit themselves and took the €10 from the existing club membership charge.

However, it remains to be seen if the county board, given the demands on finances and the additional costs of the refurbishment of MacCumhaill Park alone, will be in the mood to give the clubs much leeway on the matter.