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Galway sponsors Supermac's call on county board to release financial audits

Galway GAA’s main sponsors Supermac’s have called on the county board to release the two audits into its finances.

Revealing that they provided €1.25 million in direct sponsorship monies over the last five years excluding €341,170 of ancillary sponsorship, the Pat McDonagh-led fast food chain released a statement this evening in what can be considered a worrying development for the board.

“Following questions by the general public and delegates in relation to the Supermac’s sponsorship of Galway GAA, Supermac’s would like to detail that the amount of sponsorship given by Supermac’s to Galway GAA for the sponsored teams over the past five years to date is over €1.25m in direct payments plus over €340,000 in ancillary sponsorship (facilitating fundraising events, schools and club’s sponsorship).

“Supermac’s would like to seek clarification from the Galway County Board as to how this money was spent.

"Specifically, have the players and management benefitted or has the county board benefitted?

"Supermac’s raised financial concerns with the Galway County Board four years ago.

“Supermac’s understands that two investigations have taken place into the finances of Galway GAA; one conducted by Galway GAA and a second conducted by Mazars.

“Supermac’s is calling for these investigations to be made public immediately.

"The vast majority of the Galway GAA public and mentors, who give their time voluntarily for the promotion and administration of our games and the welfare of our players, deserve no less.”

Last December, the Irish Examiner published details of the Mazars audit, which was commissioned by the GAA’s Central Council but never released.

It followed an internal investigation carried out by county treasurer Mike Burke shortly after he took over the position in 2017.

Described by chairman Pat Kearney as “damning”, the Mazars audit showed up a list of startling issues including unsupported expenses, unapproved credit card use and unaccounted for complimentary tickets.

In total, there were 39 findings and adjoining recommendations, 17 of which were determined to be as high risk.

They included reconciliation of ticket amounts received into office not reconciled daily; no formal reconciliation of payments received per ticketing system and payments received per accounting system; inadequate documented policies and procedures in place regarding complimentary tickets, no schedule of gate receipts matches maintained monitored by accounts and instances of blank cheques being signed.

Last year, Galway accrued almost €1.2m more in income than 2017 with €1.842m spent on preparing county teams.

Supermac’s statement follows intensifying speculation that more revelations about the county’s finances will soon come to light.