Galway finances again under the spotlight

Galway finances again under the spotlight

Galway GAA chiefs are coming under pressure to grant a forensic investigation into the county board’s finances.

Frustrated with the decision not to publish the internal audit compiled by treasurer Mike Burke, officials on the executive have called for the top table to give the go-ahead to the proposal.

This latest development follows Supermac’s second statement in the space of a week seeking transparency around Galway GAA’s accounts and the county’s stalled process to find a senior hurling manager after all three candidates stepped away this past week.

Two of those men, Francis Forde and Noel Larkin, are unwilling to work with chairman Pat Kearney following differences during their time as Micheál Donoghue’s selectors.

On top of that, it is understood Kearney has also faced opposition in the Galway GAA hierarchy regarding his handling of the situation.

Speaking last week, Kearney stated both the internal audit as well as that commissioned by the GAA on foot of Burke’s workd and produced by Mazars would be released.

The Mazars report was sent to all clubs last December and the other internal audit report will be published as well. There might be some small legal restraints on that but it will be published.

However, the Mazars report, the details of which were published by the Irish Examiner last December, was leaked on social media earlier this week. Described as “damning” by Kearney, the audit does not mention any named individuals as that was not part of the remit but the independent audit is believed to go that step further.

In taking over as treasurer in late 2016, Burke highlighted how personal expenses of €45,000 were racked up on a county board credit card, while there was All-Ireland final debt of €390,000, which was paid off last year.

At last December’s annual convention Burke said he was impeded in trying to uncover the extent of the county board’s financial mismanagement but Kearney insisted he had “blocked nothing”.

Burke claimed it was “impossible” to obtain information during the first nine months of 2018.

In compiling the internal investigation, Burke was assisted by Galway hurling chairman Michael Larkin, Pádraig Pearses’ Paul Bellew and former hurling board treasurer Gerry Naughton.

Clare footballers will be without their All-Star forward Jamie Malone for next year’s Division 2 campaign.

There had been fears the Corofin man would be missing for the entire 2020 season but he is expected to return home in April after a spell travelling.

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