29 Jun 2022

Crisis as Covid hits GAA coffers as clubs and county face severe financial crisis as Covid-19 hits ability to fundraise

Crisis as Covid hits GAA coffers as clubs and county face severe financial crisis as Covid-19 hits ability to fundraise

The empty stands at this year's Leitrim GAA Senior Championship Final in 2020 Picture: Willie Donnellan

Leitrim GAA clubs have issued a “stark warning” for the future as the impact of Covid-19 on their ability to raise funds is being sorely felt all around the county.

The warning came at Monday's Leitrim GAA County Board Convention, held online via Zoom, as clubs highlighted the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on their ability to raise funds.

Clubs normally rely on weekly club lottos and draws as well as yearly events such as 'Strictly', 'Millionaire' or quiz nights to raise much needed funds to keep their teams on the playing field.

But with lockdown restrictions shutting down pubs and restaurants, clubs have found their primary source of fundraising completely cut off while restrictions mean they are unable to hold door to door or church gate collections to bolster their finances.

County Board Treasurer Martin McCartin reported a deficit of €10,668 for the year with income dropping by over a million euro for the Covid hit 2020 but club delegates also revealed that they are struggling badly in the face of the crisis.

After Mr McCartin said that unless funds are raised, the ability to field County teams would be compromised, issuing a stark warning for what was ahead for the Board.

However, club delegates revealed the stark position facing many clubs with no money coming in and no ability to fundraise in the immediate future, leaving some to wonder if they would be able to pay their affiliation fees and insurance for the coming year.

One delegate even spoke of how their priority would be raising funds for their club and not the county with Chairman Enda Stenson acknowledging the difficult position faced by both clubs and the county board in the coming months.

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