Prenty calls on Croke Park to oversee spending on county ground developments

January 21, 2019

A view of Pairc Uí Chaoimh before the All-Ireland SHC quarter-final clash between Clare and Wexford.
©INPHO/Oisin Keniry.

Connacht Council secretary John Prenty believes Croke Park, and not county boards, should oversee budgeting for county ground or Centre of Excellence developments.

The Mayo man's comments come after Croke Park was forced to take over the running of Pairc Ui Chaoimh following a €25 million overspend on its redevelopment.

"Looking at past experiences in infrastructural development, it is obvious that county officers cannot be expected to have the financial acumen or practical experience to undertake major developments on their own," he writes in his annual report.

"It is time for the Association to put together a unit that will take this burden out of the hands of our counties and that all aspects of planning, budgeting for and development of training centres and county grounds should be handled at a central level.

“Financing the development, maintenance and upkeep of county grounds and training centres is proving a major headache / noose around the heads of county officers. Currently, the national infrastructure committee, under the chairmanship of John Murphy, is drawing up a strategic plan and template for all counties to follow when undertaking any type of infrastructural development. 

“Benjamin Franklin once said that: ‘In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes’. It appears in the GAA world this could be restated as: ‘Nothing can be said to be certain, except debt and levies’.”

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