Roscommon GAA made a net profit of €943,400 from their Win A House in Dublin initiative but county chairman Seamus Sweeney admits they would have been happy to sold 10,000 tickets, almost 5,000 less than they did.
Dublin man Kumar Ganjah claimed the €425,000 house in Ashtown, Dublin 15 in last Sunday night’s draw in the Hodson Bay Hotel after he purchased one of the 14,034 tickets, each priced at €100.
County treasurer David O’Connor came up with the idea after he saw Louth club Termonfeckin had undertaken the idea earlier in the year entitled “Win A Fechin House”, which was priced at €280,000 and cleared over €500,000.
O’Connor spoke to Ballymore Properties developer and long-time Roscommon patron Seán Mulyran about doing something similar and the draw was launched in September. Since then, O’Connor, project manager Aidan Brady, Club Rossie chairman Pat Compton, David Leydon, Sweeney, Roscommon officers and other volunteers embarked on an intense fundraising drive.
“It was probably a brave decision to go with it in the first place but what a success it has been,” says Sweeney. “Club Rossie put in a huge effort and you couldn’t say enough about the professional way they went about it. The whole thing was monitored very closely on a daily basis and there would have been weekly meetings about it.
“After David discussed it with Seán Mulryan, the idea was passed by management committee and then the county board. We put no pressure whatsoever on clubs in the county to buy tickets but as it went along the interest grew and a lot of clubs were buying tickets. The vast majority of them were bought online, however, and the credit for that has to go to the team who were so great at marketing it and the technical side of things.
“When we broke even early on we could see it was going to be a winner for us. Starting out, we would have been happy to raise €15,000 even €10,000 but just before the close of the draw the site crashed with the number of people trying to get on.”
The pick-up was considerable in both Roscommon where county board offices stayed open until 9pm so that people could buy tickets as well as Dublin and Kildare where tickets were made available at major shopping centres. O’Connor’s appearance on Today FM’s Dermot and Dave show also helped to increase interest.
Sweeney, who reveals a couple of other counties have been in touch to enquire about how they went about their business, can’t stress enough the amount of work that was put in it. However, he says they are considering another undertaking in the future.
“We’ll take a couple of weeks out now with our families but we will definitely look at doing it again. We were most fortunate to have Seán Mulryan who has been a very strong Roscommon supporter for so long now.” He adds: “The money now will go towards improvements needed like Hyde Park and the Dermot Earley Centre (of Excellence). We want that to be used by the whole GAA family in Roscommon, the men, the women. It’s going to be for the young people of Roscommon.”