Donegal GAA face €500,000 extra funding hunt

Donegal GAA will have to find an extra half a million euro to finance the affairs of the county in 2011, county treasurer Seamus O’Donnell has revealed.

The treasurer made the stark revelation to the Donegal County Committee at their bi-monthly meeting on Monday night in Jackson’s Hotel in Ballybofey.

In a comprehensive and detailed outline of the projected income and expenditure for the coming year, the finance officer predicted a loss of E480,800 for the year on an expenditure of E1,162,000.

This loss is due in the main to an expenditure of E486,400 on the county’s new Centre of Excellence (County Training Ground) at Convoy, which is currently being developed.

Mr. O’Donnell stated that while they had no fund raising measures in place to meet the shortfall, the executive had appointed a finance advisory committee to come with ideas on raising funds. He also reported that the main officers were meeting Croke Park officials, before the weekend after next week’s Annual GAA Congress in Mullingar with a view to obtaining a loan to cover the cost the development on the Centre of Excellence, which is due to be paid to the contractors at the end of next month.

The loss is based on projected income and expenditure figures which are more or less in line with the income and expenditure for 2010.

The projected income for the year is E681,250, with clubs and divisional board levies at E220,000 once again the main source of income.

The figures do not take into account the cost of building a new 200 seater stand at the Centre of Excellence, which has been added to the project in recent weeks by the Croke Park, National Infrastructure Committee.

While no costings had been made on what the new stand is going to cost to build, the treasurer stated that the general consensus was that it would cost in the region of E100,000.

The additional facility is being insisted on by the Croke Park committee due to the Centre of Excellence regional status which means it will also be open to use by neighbouring counties Derry and Tyrone. Donegal officials are also going to bring up at their meeting with Croke Park officials the possibility of receiving extra funding towards the cost of the stand.

Donegal is currently overdrawn to the tune of E30,869.63, but the treasurer said that there was nothing unusual about that at this time of the year as the board’s income through levies and other sources has not yet begun to come on stream.

The treasurer stated in his report that 14 of the county’s clubs had still to pay their public liability and property insurance while five others, as of last weekend, had still to forward their player injury insurance to Croke Park.