A decision on whether or not the County Board would act as guarantor for clubs receiving loans from Croke Park was deferred to the next meeting of the Board following a vote by delegates.
The issue was raised by Birr delegate Finbar Spain who questioned why the County Board Executive had decided not to sign off as guarantor on a €100,000 loan his club had received approval for from Croke Park.
Mr Spain questioned whether the executive had the authority to deny permission and he said if that was the policy, it was wrong to deny clubs access to the loan facility.
He also noted that Birr had met with ‘the financial men’ from Croke Park and he said they were happy to proceed with the loan subject to the County Board acting as guarantor. He proposed that the County Board approve the loan.
County Board Chairman Pat Teehan explained that in the previous loan scheme from Croke Park, the Management Committee only had to give a recommendation however under the new scheme they were now obliged to go guarantor.
He stated that the decision of the executive was on the basis that they couldn’t ask clubs to go guarantor for other clubs loans adding that he had asked Joe O’Brien to raise the matter at central council.
Mr Teehan said he would have no problem recommending Birr for a loan and he pointed out that another club was in the same situation.
Mr Spain responded that there had to be faith in clubs adding, “If any club thinks Birr can’t pay off €100,000 over ten years, they have no faith in us.”
He re-iterated his stance that denying clubs access to the money was the wrong policy.
County Board Treasurer Andy Gallagher interjected stating that he didn’t think the County Board was in a position to act as guarantor because, as he put it, “we’re cash strapped for a minimum of ten years. It’ll be hard to pay our own debts.”
Pat Teehan explained that the executive had not made a decision rather a recommendation.
The other club seeking to use the loan facility is Clara and their delegate Mick Sheridan asked whether the County Board would be guaranteeing loans for any club.
Vice Chairman Padraig Boland noted that if clubs were willing to pay a levy should another club default, that would make it easier to guarantee the loans.
Questions were raised as to whether the delegates were mandated to make a decision re guaranteeing the loans and following a vote, it was decided that clubs should discuss the matter before coming back to the next meeting for a vote.