Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation

  • 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.


  • More details have emerged from last week's Mayo GAA emergency meeting.

    The Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation have been withholding 250,000 euro raised at a gala function in New York earlier this year due to concerns over governance issues.

    At last week's meeting, Mayo county treasurer Kevin O'Toole admitted that if it were up to him, he would return the funding.

  • The ongoing controversy between Mayo GAA county Board and Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation looks set to be raised at today’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council.

    Ballina Independent councillor Mark Duffy , intends to raise the matter in the chamber this afternoon, where he will call for the appointment of a full time CEO of Mayo County Board.

    Mayo County Board Executive have been called to a meeting with senior officials in Croke Park to discuss the ongoing dispute. The Connacht Council intervened in the row over the weekend , with secretary John Prenty arranging the meeting in an effort to find a resolution to the conflict surrounding Mayo GAA in recent weeks.

    The dispute centres around a quarter of a million euro that has been fund raised by the Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation but which has not yet been handed over to Mayo County Board. The Foundation is citing governance issues, for its withholding of the monies.

  • The Mayo GAA funding saga continues as officers of the county board threaten legal action against millionaire benefactor Tim O'Leary.

    The board has rejected a request from O'Leary for the return of €150,000 he donated last year.

    A letter seen by Midwest Radio was issued on Friday by solicitor Charles Gilmartin, representing the board and its officers and denied claims made by O'Leary about how the donation was spent and accused him of defamation.

    It means both sides are now on course to sue each other, as O'Leary has already threatened a lawsuit seeking the return of the funds.

    The €150,000 was donated in two tranches in February and June 2018.

    An email from O'Leary to an officer of the board, said the only condition involved was that the cash be used to give the Mayo senior football team extra resources.

    The Mayo GAA board now seem prepared to sue O'Leary and yesterday he said he was going to dispense with the deadline and issue proceedings in the coming week.

    Gilmartin said his clients were now reserving their position in this regard.

    The letter also said the board denied O'Leary attached any condition to the transfer of the funds saying "If any such condition were attached, which is denied, I am instructed that this condition was satisfied."

    It continues, “I note that your client has threatened to take legal action if the funds are not reimbursed to your client within a period of 21 days. The funds will not be reimbursed to your client. They were given without condition."

  • 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.