Elverys in five-year McHale Park deal

MAYO firm Elverys Sports have secured the naming rights to Castlebar venue McHale Park, meaning Mayo GAA’s home ground will be known as Elverys McHale Park in a five year deal.

The firm, whose headquarters are in Castlebar, are current sponsors of the Mayo senior football team and while Mayo County Board Secretary Seán Feeney hasn’t revealed how much the deal is worth, it should help somewhat with the board’s stretched finances.

The board have struggled to meet repayments on the debt-ridden McHale Park. Work on the recently redeveloped 38,000 all-seater stadium cost over €16m.

“Money has to be raised to repay our loans,” said Seán Feeney. “We got a fair bit of advice from Dermot Power (GAA Commercial Manager) and Peter McKenna (Croke Park Stadium Manager). Clubs are always the first port of call when fundraising but there’s a limit on what you can ask them because they all have their own debts.

“The fact a Mayo company has won the naming rights makes it all the more satisfying,” Feeney added.

Meanwhile Kilkenny champions James Stephens must plan without intercounty defender Jackie Tyrrell for Sunday’s Leinster SHC club opener against Oulart-the-Ballagh after it was confirmed he received a straight red card from referee Eamonn Mansfield in last Sunday’s county senior final replay win over Ballyhale Shamrocks.

Tyrrell received a yellow card in the 22nd minute of the Nowlan Park clash before then being shown a red card for a foul on Kilkenny colleague Colin Fennelly in the 35th minute of the game. As a result he will be suspended for their provincial quarter-final next Sunday against the Wexford champions in Nowlan Park.

Meanwhile, former Kilkenny goalkeeper Michael Walsh has stepped down as manager of the county U21 hurling team after serving in that role for the past four seasons.

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