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.