Garda probe as GAA club finds coffers missing €100k

GARDAÍ are investigating the disappearance of up to €100,000 from the funds of a Co Limerick GAA club.

The probe centres on the Blackrock club in Kilfinane, which also draws its membership from neighbouring Ardpatrick.

The club has informed members that it is in financial trouble due to the removal of money from club funds.

The club had plans for its grounds and had raised up to €35,000 in February 2007. But shocked club members have been told that instead of a healthy balance, the club is in the red to the tune of €50,000.

A Garda spokesman said: “We have not prosecuted anyone, but we are following a definite line of inquiry. The investigation has been ongoing for some time.”

It is believed that a file is being prepared for the DPP on the disappearance of the money.

In a letter to club members, officers of Blackrock stated that the club has run into serious financial difficulties, which could not be deemed to be of the club’s making.

To shore up their finances, the club says it reluctantly needs to approach members, players and supporters and parishioners for assistance.

The club letter stated: “Our desire to keep a club steeped in tradition alive and vibrant for future generations has compelled us to launch a Friends of Blackrock.” The club and the Limerick County Board declined to comment.

Before the financial irregularity arose, the club had drawn up ambitious plans to develop a second playing field, build a covered stand, and provide dugouts and a lighted walkway.

The project has now been shelved until the club’s financial crisis can be sorted out.

Funds from the club’s weekly lotto draw now have to go towards servicing an overdraft which has arisen from the disappearance of the cash.

The club receives money from the Limerick Development draw, but this goes directly to the club’s Bord na nÓg section to help run the juvenile section of the club.


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