(Oldest Posts First)
By Damian Lawlor
RTÉ GAA reporter
In the midst of a global pandemic, Roscommon GAA officials and their supporters organisation, Club Rossie, delivered over €905,000 profit for the county board as 2020 drew to a close.
The profit came from a fundraiser that offered the prize of a luxury Ballymore apartment in London City Island worth €815,000.
This latest venture was again organised by Club Rossie, the voluntary commercial and fundraising arm of Roscommon GAA, and launched in December 2019.
It concluded on 31 December with the prize-winner announced and a huge profit secured. The success of this draw follows Roscommon's previous house draw in 2018, for a property in Dublin, which yielded €943,000 in profit.
The latter figure was used to clear existing debts and creditors and the funds from the most recent initiative will go towards the development of the Dermot Earley Centre of Participation and upgrade of Dr Hyde Park.
As county boards across the country the struggle to fund their set-ups, Roscommon and Club Rossie officials demonstrated serious resilience and outside-the-box thinking to raise badly needed funds.
Having been informed by Croke Park some time ago that no development work could commence until existing creditors were fully dealt with, those involved made sure the first step was to clear those existing debts.
"That gave everyone a clean slate heading into 2019," says Roscommon chairperson Brian Carroll.
"It meant that our next venture could actually raise funds for the development of the Centre of Excellence and Hyde park. But, with so many counties doing house draws, we needed to look outside the country, and with the help of our sponsors Ballymore, we did that.
"It's an ongoing challenge to have these funds set aside for those projects. The day-to-day costs of running the county are massive. But we are currently identifying a suitable location for the Centre of Excellence and we're waiting back for word of a grant application for the redevelopment of Hyde Park.
"What we want is to bring Dr Hyde Park up to another level in terms of comfort and facilities for players."
"We want facilities that people can come and perform, play or support in comfort. For our spectators and all teams across all codes.
"With the draw it was a constant drive to keep sales going. The arrival of Covid-19 put the draw on the back foot for some time but when we got going everyone put their shoulder to the wheel and through Club Rossie, the board, clubs, social media, Google ads, volunteers, everyone drove it forward.
"The first target was to break even and once we did then we were in bonus territory. We could push on from there."
That they did.
Carroll points out that they are one of the few counties in Connacht without a Centre of Excellence but warns they won't be carried away with developing a facility on an over-the-top scale.
"We have good players coming through, our minors just won a Connacht title, and we are always paying attention to what comes next.
"We have a full-time strength and conditioning coach working with our underage teams.
"What we want is to bring Dr Hyde Park up to another level in terms of comfort and facilities for players. We would like to incorporate some businesses into the existing external site also and bring the community into it a bit more.
"The Centre of Excellence will have comfortable facilities for our players and some pitches where all teams will know they can prepare and play games.
"We all know there is a gap out there between the top teams and the rest. It's a difficult gap to close. If you measure the €905,000 profit that we made from the recent draw across the population of Roscommon it works out at €15 per head.
"That's the level we have and really we can't be going after the same people all the time for fundraising. There is only so much you can do.
"But we are taking it in phases, looking after our own development, keeping players coming through and trying to get our facilities right.
"Everyone has worked really hard on this but it was and is a constant challenge and now we go to the next stage."
That's how you do it.
Sgt.Pepper (Carlow) - Posts: 80 - 07/01/2021 04:58:30 2326407Link 0
Roscommon GAA indeed should be commended for the success of this project, but most counties can't rely on having a multi million euro developers with sites in both UK and Ireland gift you a luxury apartment in the centre of London.
TaosHum (Carlow) - Posts: 116 - 08/01/2021 08:12:24 2326577Link 0
I have to say, while the county board are not perfect and yes the house draw could have been better. It is easy to criticise, at the time it was a great idea and would have made a lot of money for Carlow GAA. It didn't go to plan for whatever reason. I am involved in the admin side with my club and that's not easy at times, never mind working for a county board under pressure for money all the time. If everyone commenting on the hoganstand website on this topic was working on this project then we wouldn't have been in this situation as we all had the answers.
fergie (Carlow) - Posts: 1105 - 08/01/2021 10:36:28 2326589Link 0
fergie (Carlow) - Posts: 1105 - 08/01/2021 10:37:05 2326590Link 0
Well said fergie etc. It's so easy criticise but not as easy get involved. Most of these "mysterious" county board people are the same people involved in their own clubs, have jobs and families, worries etc. I think people loose sight of that. Mistakes will be made but that happens at every level in everything in life. The reality of what we have here in Carlow is not what other counties possess and we ve been punching above our weight when we weigh up both codes. I ve had my run ins, I don't always agree, etc but I still commend all they have done and continue to do for Carlow gaa. These positions are there to be challenged for by being involved in your clubs and going done that road. It is possible! Most clubs are even scrambling to get people involved in committee roles etc so the more people with fresh energy and ideas that get involved the better. And I don't buy that old line "oh it's a closed shop". Rubbish. And happy new year to all!
Oldyellar (Carlow) - Posts: 41 - 08/01/2021 17:20:50 2326677Link 0
I said it at the time here I think, who wants a house in carlow only someone from Carlow realistically, that limits your possible customers straight away, when your doing something like that you have to be ambitious. If we couldn't do a house in Dublin or north Kildare atleast it probably wasn't worth doing.
Barrowsider (Carlow) - Posts: 1321 - 08/01/2021 22:45:06 2326739Link 0