The Roscommon GAA Convention was staged last night in Balinameen. in advance of last night event’s getting under way the word on the ground was that it was going to be “lowkey event” however there were still several talking points and the state of finance in the County was very much to the fore.
There were no elections for any places on the County executive so all the outgoing officers were returned to their positions at the top table.
There was plenty of lively debate about finance and Roscommon registered a deficit 131,092 Euro for 2016, a figure that raised a few eyebrows. Team expenses went up 332,000 Euro from the figure that was published for 2015.
Over one million euro was spent on all the various inter county teams. Medal expenses also went up 76,000 over the past year. The entire expenditure of the Roscommon County board rose by half a million euro on 2015.
Gate receipts in the county were down 17,000 on the figures of 2015 despite this Roscommon officials did manage to up their income by 300,000 euro on the previous year. The fact that the main county grounds, Dr Hyde Park was unavailable for all bar one of Roscommon’s home matches in the Allianz League was a contributing factor to Roscommon having a large deficit.
In his report, Roscommon secretary Brian Carroll stated that the unavailability of Hyde Park during the year contributed to a tough campaign for the Rossies.
Carroll believes that the uncertainty of hosting games in the county grounds made it a challenging year.
“It was certainly a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t,”. “We tried at all times to make sure that our senior team played their home games on their home pitch, which is where we all want to see Roscommon playing.
“For our final league game, we welcomed All-Ireland champions Dublin west of the Shannon. The game was fixed for Hyde Park. In the event Hyde Park wasn’t available, Carrick-on-Shannon was on standby.
“Croke Park sent a referee down to inspect the pitch on Saturday evening and it was decided that another inspection would take place on Sunday morning. That inspection took place by an intercounty referee and he deemed the pitch unplayable. Immediately after the game was switched to Carrick-on-Shannon.
“It was a difficult situation to get right. When the Down game was switched on the Friday night, we were criticised switching too early and not giving Hyde a chance.
“When the Mayo game wasn’t switched and let go ahead, we were criticised for not switching it. Then when the Dublin game was switched on the Sunday morning, we were criticised for not switching it earlier.”
Club Rossie under the guidance of former inter county footballer David O’Connor was one of the main positive aspects from 2016 they returned a profit of 203, 428 euro. And Club Rossie took in close on 270,000 over the course of the year.
Following the Convention last night Willie Hegarty spoke to the County Board Chairman Seamus Sweeney.
Willie Hegarty Audio Report on last night’s convention: