The Issue of Distributing Sports Funding for GAA in Dublin

Funding for Ireland’s Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is currently being debated as the issue of redistributing wealth is discussed, say Raidio Teilifis Eireann’s (RTE) Declan Whooley. Issues arose when the country’s capital, Dublin, received a significantly higher portion.

The report says that the association gained 63.5M euros just last year. A huge chunk of this wealth, around 83%, was reallocated to countries, clubs and schools across the country. About 14M euros were funnelled toward county boards in various forms. Dublin received 1.46M euros from the Games Development Fund.

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The growing revenue of the GAA brought into light the ‘sizeable portion of wealth’ the capital receives. According to GAA Director of Finance Tom Ryan in 2016, the association has been mulling over the issue over the past years. He emphasized that the problem will not continue in the next few years.

However, the RTE report says otherwise. Figures show that Dublin continued to receive bigger portions of the fund. The fund for the county rose from 14% to 22% in 2018, making it the biggest receiver. This is followed by Meath, which received 6%, while Tyrone received 2% (EUR 119,000). Tyrone went up against Dublin in 2018’s All-Ireland final and lost.

According to Whooley, the capital has received the most wealth, amounting to EUR 18 million for coaching and game development from 2007 to 2018. This is followed by Cork (EUR 1.4 million), Derry (EUR 1.3 million) and Meath (EUR 1.1 million). Meanwhile, Kildare, Laois, Antrim, Wicklow, Wexford and Offaly received a little above EUR 1 million during that span.

Antrim hurling player Neil MacManus said that more funding is needed to revitalize hurling, a pre-historic Gaelic and Irish sport. He added that the Gaelfast Project funds amounting to GBP 1 million were insufficient for the initiative.