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13th May 2024

Jarlath Burns calls out Sean Cavangh over ‘absolutely crazy’ comment on The Saturday Game


Jaralth Burns didn’t hold back on Sean Cavanagh on RTÉ Radio One.

Speaking on The Saturday Game, Cavanagh had described the Gaelic Athletic Association as ‘one of the richest organisations in the world,’ and Burns took issue with the comment on Monday morning.

Burns, Uachtarán Cumann Luthchleas Gael, was speaking to Clare Byrne on RTÉ Radio when he picked Cavanagh’s ‘absolutely crazy’ comment apart.

“He is an accountant, with an accountancy practice and on live tv he said that the GAA is one of the richest organisations in the world.

“We have 140 million of a turnover of which we give back 83% to our own members and to our own counties and clubs,” retorted Burns.

“I mean for somebody to actually make that comment live on The Saturday Game, considering the business he’s in (as an accountant), is just absolutely crazy,

“That’s superficial, emotional comment that doesn’t take into consideration the complexities of the logistics that we have to deal with, in a real world,” said Burns.

“We publish our accounts every year in a 167-page document. Google GAA accounts every year and you will see what they are.

Burns went onto defend his organisation, and claimed that he sees GAAGO having a huge role in the future in generating key revenue for the association.

“Every part of our accounts will tell us that we have to invest more money.

“To finish up on that point, in the next two years, we are becoming a fully integrated organisation. As a result of that, Cork, Armagh, Down, Longford, Carlow, Kerry, Monaghan and maybe four or five other counties are upgrading or building centres of excellence and making them facility correct.

“Each one of those is going to cost about €15 million to build. That’s about €200 million we have to find in the next three years.

“Kildare, Louth, Meath, Waterford, Antrim Kerry, and Thurles are upgrading their stadiums. That’s another €200 million. So I would say in the next three or four years, give or take, we have to spend half a billion on infrastructure.

“Where are we going to get that money when considering we don’t have gambling or alcohol sponsorship. The only place we can get it from is from selling of our games. And GAAGO is a very small but important part of that.”

“And I’m going to make no apologies for saying this Clare. I want GAAGO to become a major revenue generator for our association, because we need that money to upgrade our facilities.”

You can watch Cavanagh’s initial comment at tail end of this clip from The Sunday Game.

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