Mayo County Board appears to have failed to respond to Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation after the foundation had sent two emails in July and April of this year to the board.

The foundation is now withholding 250,000 of money it had fundraised for Mayo GAA, in a row over governance. It informed club delegates of its action in an email ahead of last night's county board meeting.

The independent supporters fund is backed by UK-based financial trader Tim O'Leary, whose mother is from Glenhest

The email reads: "It is clear to the foundation that Mayo GAA need significant financial support to sustain and develop GAA games in the county. The foundation’s support is now at risk due to the serious deficits in financial governance at board level."

The statement also claims that O’Leary had made a €150,000 donation to the Mayo senior football team fund on the understanding that receipts would be provided to show how that money was spent.

The supporters fund says what was provided to them included: "copies of multiple invoices and receipts seemingly randomly picked from the financial files."

Mayo GAA PRO Paul Cunnane spoke to Midwest News about the row today. He says there will be a full response from Mayo GAA board in due course to the e-mail that was sent to delegates yesterday but only seen last night by board members at the county board meeting. He explained that he had not received the latest e-mail, and despite the foundation saying it had emailed the board’s secretary, the email was not received, and so the board now requires time and will provide a detailed response to the criticism at the next (October) county Board meeting.

Accepting that the latest email was only seen for the first time last night by the Mayo GAA Board, Midwest News asked Paul Cunnane if the chairman or secretary of the board responded to the two previous emails, sent in April and July outlining the foundation’s request. He responded “they did not, as far as I am aware”.

Midwest News then spoke to one of the Trustees of the Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation Terry Gallagher who is originally from Achill but based in the UK. He explained that the 250,000 euro that is being held back by the foundation is the residue from one major fund raising event in New York when Mayo played New York at the start of the championship this year, that raised 400,000 euro.

He said that despite two requests to obtain records on where the monies were to be spent, they were not provided by the County Board but he said everyone is keen to resolve the issue.

 

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