GAA president John Horan has condemned Colm O’Rourke for questioning the presence of Dublin CEO John Costello on the new fixtures calendar review task force. The former Meath star, who Horan claimed wanted to be a member of the group, suggested Costello among others on the committee would have vested interests.
O’Rourke wrote in his newspaper column last month: “If I was John Costello, Dublin CEO, on this committee I would play it cool, agree with everyone but make sure nothing too radical gets done. After all, I work for Dublin GAA. Why should I want anything to change?”
Horan didn’t reference O’Rourke by name but his target was apparent and he claimed O’Rourke sought to be a member of the task force. “It’s amazing the people who are talking about this are people who asked me to go on the committee and didn’t get on the committee and then all of a sudden... That’s all I’ll say to you.
“One person who criticised the whole thing criticised John Costello’s presence (on it) and I’m led to believe said the ladies football and camogie should be involved?”
Horan reckons the debate about the funding received by the Dublin County Board is too narrow.
People are operating off global figures because Dublin’s money goes from Croke Park whereas most of the other counties in Leinster get their money from the province.
“I think there needs to be a greater analysis of it. It’s very easy to take a global figure and say it’s one-point-whatever going to Dublin and whatever going to the rest but if you actually did an analysis the penetration is in the schools, which a lot of the coaching money in Dublin is going into, and that goes into camogie and ladies football as well. So that’s where it is.
“I remember having a meeting with (Meath operations manager) Seamus Kenny and (Leinster operations manager) Shane Flanagan and Shane Flanagan’s comment at the meeting between the three of us was that per head of population there’s actually more coaching money going into Meath than Dublin. That’s what he said at that meeting. Now I didn’t have the actual figures so I’m not going to stand over it but I intend to get someone to just have a look at it and analyse it.”
Repeating his opinion that there is no begrudgery being shown from other counties towards Dublin, Horan spoke of how Dublin has instead become a blueprint.
“I was talking to people from Tyrone there about the coaching and games structure. They went down to Dublin to see John Costello to see the model that’s in Dublin and they don’t agree with the debate that’s out there about Dublin and the funding. The funding going into Dublin is to maintain participation levels in the organisation, which is key.”
Regarding Dublin switching from Parnell to Croke Park to host their home Super 8 game, he added: “If they’re prepared to play it in a bigger venue to get more people the opportunity to go to the game surely that should be it?”