The Cork county board and the Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium board will jointly make three business-related appointments — the latest step in the coming together of the two bodies.
With the secondment of Michelle McAleer as Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium manager coming to an end following the completion of the stadium audit, the two boards have agreed to jointly fund three short-term positions in the “commercial, facilities, and accounting areas”. The respective roles will cover the workings of both Cork county board and Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
This joint-up approach, as well as the future running and financing of both the stadium and county board, will be mapped out in the business plan currently being drawn up by business advisory firm BDO. The county board executive is hopeful of this business plan being delivered by early summer.
At the February meeting of the county board, secretary Kevin O’Donovan informed delegates that the executive had made “strenuous attempts in recent times to stop the separation of Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Cork GAA".
"We know it originated in Croke Park. They provided great support previously and continue to do so. That support is still there and it is bona fide.
“We would like the stadium to become more part of Cork GAA. And in view of that, we are in discussion with Croke Park and different fundraising partners to see if we can pull this whole thing together and put it on a sounder footing for the future.”
O’Donovan said he did not see Páirc Uí Chaoimh debt as being separate to the county board’s 2019 losses totalling €560k.
“To me, it is Cork GAA; one big problem.”
It was announced at Tuesday’s meeting of the board that talks have commenced between the Cork county board executive, the stadium board, supporters group Cairde Chorcaí, the financial advisory and planning sub-committee, and other independent persons, with regard to the rolling out of a “coordinated financing approach”.
This fundraising structure may be ready for unveiling at next month’s gathering of the board.