Cork GAA Clubs will not be levied to pay for Pairc Ui Chaoimh

Cork GAA Clubs will not be levied to pay for Pairc Ui Chaoimh
Tracey Kennedy, Chairperson Cork County Board.Picture: Jim Coughlan

CORK County Board Chairperson Tracey Kennedy has reiterated that the clubs of the county will not be levied in an effort to ease the burden of debt on Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

It was revealed in the annual financial report of the GAA’s Director General Tom Ryan that there is a current debt in excess of €30m on the brand new stadium.

In his report he devoted two pages to the stadium debt, entitled “Pairc Ui Chaoimh : An Ongoing Challenge.

He opened his passage by stating how Cork GAA had been too ambitious with their projected income streams such as the price put on land in Kilbarry and long-term premium seats.

He also intimated that Central Council who provided €20 to Cork in the form of a grant didn’t perform enough checks and balances.

In response to the latest developments and how the debt might be reduced, Ms Kennedy outlined the Cork stance.

“We have said a number of times that club levies is not a route we want to go down. 

In fairness to Croke Park, they are not prescribing any particular way that we meet our requirements.

“As Tom Ryan stated in his report, there is work going on at present and is fairly advanced at this stage in terms of redefining our fundraising processes and those will cover all aspects of Cork GAA.

“Croke Park have been very supportive. 

"As long as we can meet our commitments, it’s up to us to find a way to do that.

“We intend to meet our commitments.’’ 

In his report, Mr Ryan mentioned the responsibility on Cork to work their way out of the debt and Ms Kennedy had no issue with that.

“It’s our stadium, and Croke Park have been immensely supportive but it would always be intended that the stadium would return to Cork’s responsibility.

“We want to be in control of our processes and there are some excellent people on our stadium board who are all playing an integral part in our future.’’ 

Regarding the sale of land close to Delanys GAA club in Kilbarry which would help to service the debt, the Cork chairperson stated: “There are obviously commercial sensitivities around these issues so I can’t say a lot on it except that the sale of Kilbarry will go ahead.

“It is a process that’s in progress and the stadium board is managing that.’’

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