DONEGAL GAA

Donegal GAA stewards unhappy at getting no meal after Antrim game

Ulster stewards get meal allowance

Tom Comack

Reporter:

Tom Comack

Donegal GAA stewards unhappy at getting no meal after Antrim game

Donegal GAA stewards at last Sunday’s Ulster Championship encounter between Donegal and Antrim in Ballybofey have claimed that they did not receive a customary meal after the game.
However, when contacted about the matter yesterday (Wednesday), Donegal Co. treasurer, Cieran Kelly, denied any knowledge of the claims made.
“I know nothing about it and I have no comment to make on the matter,” was the response of the Donegal treasurer when contacted by the Democrat.
The Democrat has spoken to a number of the stewards who worked in MacCumhaill Park at Sunday’s games against Antrim.
And they expressed annoyance that a long-standing practice had not been adhered to.
It is understood they were informed before the game that this was the case. And one steward who spoke to the Democrat said they thought their colleagues were joking until they went to hand in their bib.
“It’s not about the meal, it’s the principle of the thing,” said one of the veteran stewards, who spoke to the Democrat.
“It’s very disrespectful of people who were on their feet from before 12 noon until after 6 o’clock on Sunday evening.
“I left home before 11 o’clock on Sunday and I wasn’t home until after 8 pm. I had a cup of tea and a sandwich when I arrived in MacCumhaill Park around 12 o’clock.
“I was given a goodie bag that contained a bottle of water, an orange and Mars bar before I went out to work for the day.
“We always got a meal after a big championship game since I started stewarding first over 20 years ago.
“We didn’t get one every day and we didn’t expect to but on long days like Sunday, we always got sorted and it is not a case that we were looking for a four course meal or anything like it.
“Just a simple one course and I’m sure it wouldn’t have cost a fortune. As far as I know there were 50 of us stewarding last Sunday and I’m sure it would have cost no more than €500 or €600.
“I certainly won’t be back to steward ever again in Ballybofey.”
This sentiment was expressed by a number of other long serving stewards, who also said they would not be volunteering again.
Former treasurers, Grace Boyle and Jim McGlynn, the last two holders of the office before Cieran Kelly, confirmed during their terms as county treasurer that meals after big games were always provided.
The Democrat has also learned that up to eight or nine years ago the Ulster Council covered meals for all stewards working at big championship games.
But that practice was discontinued at that time with the provincial body only catering for stewards they brought in for the day from outside the county.
It was at that time that Donegal took over providing the meals after the games as they had been doing for years on county final day.
There were approximately 35 stewards from the other counties across Ulster and it is believed they all received £30 each for Sunday to provide their own meal.