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.