Leinster Council won’t budge on Galway board demands

The demands of the Galway County Board for a bigger percentage of gate receipts from their home fixtures in the Leinster SHC will not be acceded to by the Leinster Council when the two parties meet later this month.

At last month’s Galway GAA convention, county board treasurer Mike Burke, when outlining the 15% of gross gate receipts the county received from their Leinster round-robin games against Kilkenny and Dublin at Pearse Stadium, told delegates: “We need to get a bigger percentage of the gates.” He also claimed Galway was “not getting a fair deal from Leinster”.

But with all other counties in Leinster also being allocated 15% of the gate from their home championship fixtures, Galway’s insistence that they receive a more substantial piece of the pie will fall on deaf ears.

“There is no question of any county getting preferential treatment or any county being unfairly treated,” said Leinster GAA chairman Jim Bolger.

“[That figure] is consistent and uniform across the board. We’ll be meeting them in a few weeks and we’ll discuss this. We have a good relationship with Galway and they are treated the same as all other counties in Leinster.”

Galway GAA pocketed €292,000 in gate receipts from inter-county games in 2018, an increase of almost €100,000 on the previous year, but there was anger among certain delegates that Leinster Council had not covered stewarding expenses arising from the games against Kilkenny and Dublin. Match-day expenses associated with inter-county games at Pearse Stadium amounted to €80,000 in 2018.

Whereas Connacht Council, according to Galway’s provincial delegate John Joe Holleran, do cover stewarding costs, Leinster Council operate a different policy.

“Usually, our venues are able to use their own stewards,” explained Bolger.

Most of our stadia are self-sufficient with regard to local stewards, so it is all-inclusive. If a match is in Kilkenny, the stewards are from Kilkenny. They don’t go looking for stewards from neighbouring counties.

“We used to give the home county 10% of the gate and then on top of that, there were fees for security, feeding your volunteers and so on. That 10% was for ground rent but you could get a surprise then when two or three additional bills came in later on for stewarding, etc.,” he said. “In fairness to Galway, they might be used to operating a different system in Connacht.”

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