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Dublin GAA CEO Highly Critical Of €450K Cut To County's Funding

Dublin GAA CEO Highly Critical Of €450K Cut To County's Funding
By Michael Bolton Updated
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Dublin GAA CEO John Costello has claimed the shift in funding from the GAA will see Dublin lose €450,000 per year, with job losses and sale of assets on the cards.

Dublin have traditionally received the most funding from the GAA, due to the size of their population, with Dublin receiving 750,000 in 2021, 550,550 more than the next highest country in Antrim.

Last year, the GAA announced that their would be a shake up to how their funding is allocated, with greater emphasis on adult playing numbers. This change meant there was likely one county with a high allocation was likely to be hit, and Dublin appears to be the one targeted according to John Costello's report.

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Speaking on the findings of his report, John Costello has criticised the cutting of funding to Dublin, explaining the challenges the GAA face in the future when it comes to funding and participation.

“I am surprised and disappointed, to be honest, that the new GAA model for funding for coaching and games development is based on registered male players from the age of four to 37 years of age. This is a worrying shift in association policy that funding is now being targeted at the older age groups. At a recent meeting attended by the GAA Director of Coaching and Games Development and the Árd Stiúrthóir, we were informed that the Games Promotion Officers should be working at this age cohort.”

He went on to say:

"The new funding model – and the surreptitious shift in association policy – will result in an annual reduction of €447,978 in coaching funding to Dublin. The consequences of this rationalisation will result in the dismantling of the integrated coaching scheme in Dublin, with resulting job losses and redundancies and the sale of assets.

There are real challenges for Gaelic games in Dublin. We have had to meet the challenge of a growing professional international sport in rugby, the ongoing battle with young people who are attracted by the big names and money of soccer, and a plethora of other sports and distractions that are likely to be unique to big cities.

It is a constant battle for the hearts and minds of our young people."

Invest In Youth

Rather than placing strong emphasis on the senior side of the game, John Costello would like to see the GAA reverse previous changes on the underage system, explaining the challenges Dublin have faced in the past.

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"We have always sought to channel investment into our grassroots as we believe this maximises the effect of the investment and optimises the value for money. It also brings about the best and most favourable long-term impact for the association overall.”

Experimentation is always worthwhile in any walk of life but sometimes you have to put your hand up and admit that it didn’t work – and so it is, in my opinion, with the U17 and U19 grades at club level.

There is too much of an overlap with players at U19 club level and adult grade and what we have experienced in Dublin is that there are too many scheduled fixtures that go unfulfilled. It is also particularly difficult for clubs with smaller playing numbers.

“What players want is meaningful competitions and, unfortunately, this has not proven to be the case – so it’s time to call a halt."

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