Call to investigate GPA boot contract

Call to investigate GPA boot contract
Donegal GAA is to call on the GAA to investigate how a unit of the Association entered a contract with an English sportswear company.

Donegal GAA is to call on the GAA to investigate how a unit of the Association entered a contract with an English sportswear company.

The call was made at Monday night’s monthly meeting of the Donegal County committee of the GAA by Bundoran representative on the committee Michael McMahon.

Speaking to the Democrat on Tuesday night the Bundoran clubman said that he had requested the Donegal secretary Aodh Mairtin O’Fearraigh, to write to Croke Park, on the matter. And he insisted he wanted the Association to investigate the matter of how it had come about and how the Gaelic Players Association had entered a contract with an English company boot supplier.

Mr. McMahon said that he made the request for the investigation after Donegal Central Council delegate Niall Erskine had confirmed at Monday night’s meeting that the GPA had negotiated such a contract with an English company.

“It’s not good enough in the current economic climate and with droves of our young people leaving the country on a daily basis that a unit of the Association, as the GPA are, links up with an English company and by-passing Irish suppliers,” said Mr. McMahon, who is also a Sinn Fein member on Bundoran Town Council.

“And it is not an anti English thing; it is just as an Association I feel we should support our own in the interest of the economy and employment in the country.

“I find it especially disappointing that it should happen in an Association that is haemorrhaging young players on a daily basis.

“It is something I’m not going to rest on and I intend to pursue the matter until I get answers and that is why I have called on the county secretary Aodh Mairtin O’Fearraigh to write to Croke Park on the matter and to call for the matter to be investigated.

Mr. McMahon explained that the matter had been brought to his attention some time back by a number of sports shops around the country that had raised concerns with him about it.

“I raised the matter at last month’s county committee meeting and asked the central council delegate Niall Erskine to find out in Croke Park, if there was any truth to the allegations.

“He duly did that and reported that he had received confirmation that the GPA had signed a contract with a English company for the supply of boots and that they had received approval the Association to do so.”

Earlier this year a new website set up specifically for the Irish market and supported by the GAA and the GPA in association with a company called British Sport Direct.

The website www.gaelicboot.ie offering football boots at discount prices compared to sports stores with the proceeds generating from sales funding for player welfare and development programmes.

The deal has been criticised by a number of sports retailers.