Limerick back in black after a season to remember

The good news continues for Limerick GAA supporters.

In a year in which they’ve won the Munster senior and minor hurling double, in which the senior footballers won promotion from division four, and in which senior hurling county champions Na Piarsaigh have also added provincial honours, the good news continues for Limerick GAA supporters.

“Back in the black!” was the message from treasurer Donal Morrissey for delegates to the 2013 convention at the Castle Oaks Hotel in Castleconnell yesterday.

Where last year the county board had a loss of €80,313, this year Limerick GAA is back in profit, an excess of €6,661 of income over expenditure.

“If you want to balance the books, you should look to increase your income, not cut your expenses,” said Morrissey. “Some people look particularly at the cost of preparing the county teams — I suggest this should be the last item looked at to cut. The more money spent, the better the teams are prepared.”

That’s what Limerick did in 2013. The cost of preparing the county teams actually went up, from €690,321 in 2012 to €747,948 this year, while gate receipts dropped a whopping 25% from the 2012 figure of €365,038, but those costs were more than offset with increased income in two major areas.

The first was in the area of commercial activities, an increase of €113,000 from 2012 (primarily from programmes and advertising); the second was in grants and contributions, the board receiving €111,000 more than last year (Cúl camps a major source).

Probably the most significant figure of all, and one which reflects best on the Limerick board, went unremarked. In what now amounts to a major corporation, , the entire administration costs are as follows: Expenses for all officials — €28,622; Totals wages and salaries — €55,375. In just a few lines, that sums up why the GAA is strong an organisation as it is.

It wasn’t all sweetness and light however, chairman Oliver Mann using his address to highlight the injustice done to Limerick’s minor hurlers when a legitimate point had been ruled a miss by the new Hawk-Eye system in the All-Ireland semi-final loss to Galway.

“Unfortunately having pursued our case the whole way to the DRA, the results of the game stood and Limerick were out of the All-Ireland minor hurling championship at the semi-final stage. The company that operates Hawk-Eye did apologise to the GAA and its supporters for the system failure. It is however disappointing — I have to date neither seen nor heard an apology to the players for this technical glitch.”

The recent decision not to alter the hurling league groupings for 2014, which leaves Limerick still operating in division 1B, also came in for criticism from Mann, as did a decision in Munster not to end the practice of combined teams in the schools’ competitions. “It’s disappointing that recent efforts to restructure the league for 2014 and beyond met with failure. On the secondary school front, the decision not to allow combined teams to take part in Corn Uí Mhuirí and the Harty Cup is disappointing as it is a great outlet to promote Gaelic games, particularly in schools in west Limerick.”


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