The June meeting of Clare GAA on Friday evening unanimously backed the a proposal from the board’s finance committee to hold a fundraising draw which will have a 4 bedroom house in Lahinch as the first prize.
Committee chairman Chris Ryan outlined the work put in by a committee of Michael Gallagher(treasurer) Denis Cullinan, Kieran Keating (vice chairman), Leo Cassidy and himself over recent months. He told the delegates that the committee had met with various groups including hurling, football, camogie and ladies football support groups as well as meeting with the members of the strategic review committee which was set up earlier this year.
Money raised from this draw will go towards the development of a floodlit synthetic pitch at Caherlohan as well as a ball wall. The finance committee had agreed terms with the developer John Talty for the purchase of the house which is currently under construction. The committee praised the developer whom he described as a keen GAA supporter, for his assistance and for providing “favourable terms”.
The draw will be launched on July 16 and will benefit clubs as well as Club Clare, the camogie, ladies football and men’s football support groups in that €25 euro from each ticket sold will go to the nominated group.
Finance committee chairman Ryan also told the meeting that further fundraising events are being planned including an “In Clare for Clare” event which will take place in Ennis next year with further details to be confirmed at Christmas time. He also revealed that naming rights for Cusack Park are under consideration.
Treasurer Michael Gallagher acknowledged “concerns voiced by delegates in recent times. They are valid”. He reminded the delegates that “the secretary in his report to convention expressed concerns and he proposed the necessity of setting up a finance committee”. Naming the committee he told the meeting that “Leo Cassidy is based in the US and we hope that he will be able to join us more regularly now”.
The treasurer went on to pay tribute to the board’s main sponsor Pat O’Donnell. “He has already paid us 80% of his contribution for this year and Clare GAA owes that man a serious debt of gratitude. Croke Park continue to pay towards the cost of our inter county teams”, he explained before telling the meeting that “already this week we have paid our €25,000. We have to look after the upkeep and maintenance of grounds and the administration expenses”.
Continuing he said “normally we apply for permission to draw down a line of credit from AIB for €250,000 and this year I am asking for permission to draw down €150,000”. The meeting sanctioned this on the proposition of John Meade (Kildysart) seconded by PJ. McGuane (Cooraclare).
Éire Óg’s secretary Paddy Smyth thanked Chris Ryan “for the presentation” before noting that “this is a very big venture. What is the target? What is the cost of the synthetic pitch”.
Vice chairman Kieran Keating told the meeting that “Roscommon had sales of 22,000. We would hope to sell 20,000 and we plan an 8 month run. The house will be completed by April. It’s an attractive prize but it will take lots of people to promote this”. Smyth agreed “it’s a very attractive prize”.
Killanena’s Kieran McNamara asked how much was Clare GAA spending on hiring pitches at present and how much this would save the association on an annual basis. Gallagher responded that Clare would have paid €30,000 for pitches in the last twelve months.
Scariff’s Dan Treacy asked “why are we not getting s financial update tonight as decided at the last meeting. How many accounts do we have? To which the treasurer replied “ten at the minute but we are in the process of joining up some of them”.
“We need the figures”, Smith O’Briens’ delegate Brendan Foley maintained. Complimenting the finance committee, former treasurer Bernard Keane said “this is very badly needed and long overdue”.
Meelick’s Padraig O’Brien urged the clubs to “support this. Prices of materials are going up and up and the longer we delay the more this will cost”. Former chairman Robert Frost also complimented the committee on the plan but asked the treasurer “to put everything o n the table for the next meeting. How much do we owe, we have loans”.
According to Corofin’s Ambrose Heagney “this is a hugely attractive prize and we should get huge support from outside the county”.
The decision to proceed with the draw was sanctioned on the proposition of Ambrose Heagney and seconded by Padraig O’Brien.