Tonight is the first meeting of the Cork County Committee of the new year, and the first at which delegates will get the opportunity to ask the county executive about the deficit facing the Cork County Board.
Readers will recall revelations in these pages before Christmas that the board’s own audit and risk sub-committee had advised the executive to inform the annual convention that the board’s deficit was more than €2.4 million, not the €560,000 figure reported by the executive.
The executive decided not to do so, a decision which “questions the fundamental integrity of the Cork County Board”, according to the audit and risk sub-committee, which added that the proper course of action would be to resign en masse if it were not for the reputational damage that would inflict on the Board.
Questions for delegates to raise with the executive this evening:
Has the executive met with the audit and risk sub-committee since this news broke? Is the audit and risk sub-committee still considering resigning en masse?
How was the decision to ignore its recommendations explained to the sub-committee, presuming that meeting took place?
Why did the executive not share the audit and risk figure with delegates at the annual convention? Was the decision not to do so made by the entire executive?
Can delegates be sure in the future that they are being given the full picture of the board’s finances, or is there a risk of a similar situation occurring?
What safeguards have been taken to ensure that a similar situation does not occur again?
Correspondence from the audit and risk sub-committee suggests its initial report was not shared with the entire executive: why?
Are certain decisions and information not being shared with the entire executive? If so, why?
What are the ramifications of the higher figure and how has that impacted on day to day spending, particularly the county team budgets?
Is every avenue being explored in terms of generating revenue and saving costs?
For instance, the Munster SHL and McGrath Cup finals were played last weekend in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick: could both have been held in Cork instead, delivering a rental fee and saving on team expenses? (On an associated note, was Páirc Uí Rinn not available last weekend, and if not, why not?
Could the facilities at Mallow, which are used for Munster SHL and McGrath Cup games like, not have been used for the two finals?)
How much damage has been done to the GAA in Cork by the latest revelations?
Is the executive confident it will be able to continue to attract individuals of the same calibre as those on the audit and risk sub-committee in the future?
Is the Cork brand less attractive for potential commercial partners given the revelations about the precise size of the deficit?
Has there been any communication from Croke Park on the issue of the deficit/audit and risk committee? If so, what communication?
Is Cork now more isolated at Munster Council and Central Council levels because of this and other controversies?