Businessman Tim O’Leary has expressed disappointment at the remarks of new Mayo GAA chairman Seamus Tuohy who has insisted he will not be engaging with O’Leary during his time as chair.
Despite Tuohy’s comments to local media this week that “I won’t be having anything to do with him as chairman of Mayo GAA”, O’Leary today announced on social media that he has signed a legal agreement to take a three-year option on 50 acres of land in a central Mayo location for the purposes of developing a Mayo GAA centre of excellence.
“I have appointed a design team to commence the preparation of a master plan for a Sporting Centre of Excellence for Mayo,” he said.
Speaking to local media on Monday, Tuohy, who was elected Mayo chairman over the weekend, said he has had “absolutely no communication” with O’Leary and doesn’t foresee this changing going forward.
“The board has made their position clear prior to me taking up my position and I will be guided by the board. There is no such engagement, there has been no engagement, and I don’t plan to go down that road. As far as I’m concerned I won’t be having anything to do with him as chairman of Mayo GAA,” said Tuohy.
London-born O’Leary, whose mother is a Newport native, said on social media this Wednesday morning that he was “very disappointed to hear the announcement from Seamus Tuohy in the local media”.
He added: “It would be wrong of me to comment further on this at the moment as I want to focus on positive contributions to Mayo GAA.
“I will continue to use avenues available to me to rebuild a positive and productive relationship with Mayo GAA.”
And although Tuohy has denied suggestions the businessman had involvement in his campaign to be elected chairman of Mayo County Board, O’Leary’s tweet included a draft memorandum of understanding which he alleges was discussed with Tuohy over the past number of months and “which he has agreed with in principle”.
“If we work together and professionally, we can achieve great things for Mayo,” added O'Leary.
Two years ago, O’Leary and the county board engaged in a campaign of accusation and counter-accusation, which culminated in O’Leary initiating High Court proceedings against Mayo seeking the return of a €150,000 payment he made to the board which he claims was not used for the purpose he entrusted it. These are claims Mayo county board deny.