Tim O'Leary

  • GAA's director-general Tom Ryan is set to intervene directly in the ongoing row over Mayo GAA funding, and meet with US-based Tim O'Leary.

    The Irish Independent reports that Croke Park officials have already met with the Mayo executive and were briefed on the dispute.

    Tim O'Leary is head of the Mayo GAA International Supporters Club, which  has been withholding € 250,000, which was raised at a gala function in New York last year, due to concerns over governance issues.

    In a letter to the Mayo County Board dated this Monday November 25th, Tom Ryan offered whatever support and assistance may be required to Mayo GAA to reach a positive outcome.

    The director-general also said  they "would be glad" to meet Tim O'Leary and would "be grateful" for any assistance from the county board in making those arrangements.





  • Mayo GAA has apologised to the chairman of the Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation Tim O'Leary over the choice of songs played as part of the half-time entertainment in last Saturday's match between a county team selection and the Underdogs, in Elverys MacHale Park, Castlebar.

    Among the songs played were "Money, Money, Money" and "Shoe the Donkey".

    According to the Irish Independent, the letter of apology from Mayo GAA states that it was "a light-hearted take on recent events" after a county board officer allegedly referred to Mr O'Leary as "a donkey" in an earlier email.

    Mr O'Leary reportedly said he's happy to accept the apology and move on.

    The international supporters foundation is withholding €250,000 which was raised at a gala dinner in new York last May, because business plans for the Centre of Excellence and academy have not been provided in accordance with a letter that outlined an agreement with county board chairman Mike Connelly in April.

    The relationships between the foundation and the county board has since deteriorated, and attention now turns to tonight's meeting of the county board in Castlebar, where officials have promised to respond  in detail to letters from Tim O'Leary and the foundation.


  • Mayo GAA has ceased all contact with millionaire benefactor Tim O'Leary after a series of tweets he posted on Sunday calling for senior football manager James Horan to be sacked.
    Tim O'Leary, who finances the Mayo Supporters Federation, took to Twitter on Sunday to call for the end of Horan's management reign in light of Mayo's League defeat to Monaghan in Clones.
    While the tweets were later deleted and an apology posted yesterday, this was the latest incident in a long disintegration of relations between Mr O'Leary and the county board.

  • Millionaire businessman Tim O’Leary claims certain people are out to discredit him after his foundation withheld €250,000 in funding from Mayo GAA's county board in a row over governance. That’s according to today’s Irish Independent.

    The UK-based trader hit out at "irrelevant" stories which had been circulated in GAA circles since the dispute erupted.

    The cash was pledged by the Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation, which Mr O'Leary founded and chairs, towards the creation of academy and centre of excellence facilities. However, the money was held back when business plans for the projects were not produced by the county board.

    The dispute came to the fore in recent days after a letter from the foundation, which was highly critical of the county board, was circulated to clubs across the county.

  • The funding row in Mayo GAA has intensified after a millionaire backer claims he was called a “donkey” in an email sent from an official County board email address.

    A group led by UK-based trader Tim O’Leary has been withholding a quarter of a million euro from the Mayo county board in a row over governance.

    In September, the Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation said it would not be releasing the cash, earmarked for an academy facility and a centre of excellence in Castlebar, unless it was supplied with business plans.

    But the row has now escalated further with new allegations being made in a letter sent by Mr O’Leary to the Mayo county board and circulated to clubs in the county.

    Tim O’Leary has raised fresh concerns with the Mayo County Board over governance issues, including arrangements for procuring sponsors.

    The letter, sent on Sunday, comes just weeks after Mr O’Leary’s foundation expressed an interest in bidding for the naming rights to MacHale Park in Castlebar, currently held by sports chain Elverys.

    While the offer was not rejected outright, a response from the county board suggested a decision may have already been made on the issue.

    Mr O’Leary’s letter also made reference to an email sent from an official GAA email address last August.

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    The email, forwarding correspondence from Mr O’Leary, was sent to an administrator and the county board executive and also copied to Mr O’Leary.

    It read: "I would ask the board to answer this donkey but that probably won’t happen this time either."

    In his letter to the county board, Mr O’Leary complained about being called a "donkey".

    "Please understand that despite the distressing aspect of the personal insults I am not one to be bullied or intimidated," he wrote.

    Independent.ie contacted Mr O’Toole for comment. In a statement, Mayo county board said it was in the course of preparing a full response to the clubs in relation to the board's dealing with the foundation, which will be dealt with at the next county board meeting on tomorrow week, Wednesday, October 30th.

    When Mr O’Leary’s foundation initially outlined a series of governance concerns last month, the county board pledged to respond at a meeting on October 16, but the meeting was postponed until October 30th.

  • Mayo GAA's millionaire benefactor has wished its new chair the best of luck for 2020.

    Tim O'Leary who said he would press through with legal proceedings over the use of 150 thousand euro he gave to the county board has apologised for the bad publicitiy surrounding the organisation in the past few weeks, but said it was neccessary for change.

    Liam Moffat was elected the new chair of the county board earlier today.

  • Tim O’Leary has issued High Court proceedings against Mayo GAA seeking the return of a €150,000 donation and damages for breach of fiduciary duty as a row over governance spills over into the legal arena.

    O'Leary has also threatened to issue a further lawsuit if he does not get an apology for an email sent by a Mayo county board officer which called him a "donkey".

    The Irish Independent is reporting that his action seeking the return of the €150,000 was initiated yesterday, a week after a solicitor's letter on behalf of the board rejected a request for the money to be given back.

    It comes at a sensitive time for the county's GAA hierarchy as a convention takes place tomorrow in Belmullet to elect officers to the board.

  • It's reported this morning that the chairman of the Mayo International Supporters' Foundation - the group currently withholding €250,000 in funding  from the Mayo County Board - has written to the county expressing an interest in bidding for the naming rights to MacHale Park.

    The Irish Independent reports that the New York-based businessman Tim O'Leary emailed the county's commercial manager expressing interest in submitting a tender for the package, which also includes being the main sponsor on county jerseys.

    Elverys hold the naming rights until the end of next season and are widely expected to renew their deal, but Mr O'Leary has reportedly asked for a copy of the tender documents along with the bid assessment process for commercial sponsorship and the naming rights to MacHale Park.

    Last month, the Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation wrote a letter stating that it was withholding funding from the county board "until appropriate governance structures are put in place".

    The contents of the letter were not dealt with at last month's county board meeting, but treasurer Kevin O'Toole told delegates he intended the reply to the allegations made at the October meeting, which takes place next Wednesday.




  • A vote of confidence in the Mayo GAA executive and board was “resoundingly passed by all delegates” at last night’s meeting of the Mayo County Board, where media were excluded.

    That’s according to a statement released by the board this morning. However, there were no answers provided in the statement, to the many questions being posed over “governance issues” over recent months by Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation.

    The brief statement today by the county board reads “In relation to tonight's meeting to respond to clubs we received legal correspondence from Tim O'Leary & Eugene Rooney & based on those letters we have now been advised that we cannot now comment any further on these matters.

    According to today’s Irish Independent , Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation has raised further questions over how a donation of €150,000 from its millionaire backer was spent by Mayo GAA.

    The donation was made by UK-based options market trader Tim O'Leary, who says there was an agreement the cash was to go towards the preparation of the Mayo senior footballers in 2018.

    But a letter to clubs from the Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation, which Mr O'Leary chairs, claims receipts provided did not reflect the terms of the agreement.

    The latest letter claims an analysis of receipts produced by the county board showed €37,000 of the expenditure was incurred in advance of the donation being made and that a receipt for only €34,000 was produced in respect of one item said to have cost €54,000.

    The letter also said "a significant portion" of the receipts reflect a period after Mayo exited the championship. The foundation questioned whether the senior team benefited from the full value of the donation. There was no immediate comment from the Mayo county board on the matter.

    The issuing of the letter is the latest twist in a row which has been rumbling for several months. The foundation has withheld €250,000 raised at a New York fundraiser earlier this year, earmarked for an academy and a centre of excellence in Castlebar, until business plans are produced for both projects.Bottom of FormIt has also said the cash will not be handed over "until appropriate governance structures are put in place".

    In the letter, the foundation asked clubs to mandate the county board to seek support from Croke Park for the appointment of an independent mediator.

    To further complicate the dispute, Mr O'Leary was called a "donkey" in an email sent from a Mayo GAA official's email address last August. Last week Mayo county board chairman Mike Connolly insisted there were no governance issues within the county. He also rejected the suggestion Croke Park may be required to intervene.

    In its letter, the foundation said it was clear the relationship between it and the board had completely broken down."We see no point in engaging further with them," it said.

    The letter said that if the county board did not comply with conditions the foundation attached to the funding by the end of the year it would instead engage with clubs in Mayo to establish how the money could be used to further the development of the GAA in the county.