Dónal Óg Cusack compares GAA to UK Tories for spending habits

Dónal Óg Cusack compares GAA to UK Tories for spending habits

Former Cork goalkeeper Dónal Óg Cusack has compared the GAA to the Tories in the UK in a passionate rant regarding the redevelopment of Cork's Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Irish supermarket chain Supervalu has signed a 10-year partnership with the Cork GAA, with the stadium renamed Supervalu Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the duration of the partnership.

The naming rights had proved a controversial issue for the Cork County Board since it was suggested that the name of the man after whom the stadium is named would be dropped. However, the ultimate naming decision to preserve historical ties was welcomed by those who had opposed losing the link to the Ó Caoimh family, including Pádraig Ó Caoimh’s grandson, Dónal Ó Caoimh.

The Cork stadium also reportedly cost at least €96 million to rebuild, and there is reportedly €30 million in debt related to the project for the Cork GAA. Cork's financial troubles come a week after the GAA released their financial accounts for 2023, and the report showcased both positive strides and challenges for the organisation and it's members.

The three-time Cork All-Ireland SHC-winning goalkeeper, Óg Cusack, has slammed the GAA for their spending habits, claiming that there are too many props for stadiums in the country

"We're talking €30 million. How much has gone into the stadium? Will we ever know how much was actually spent on it? You can't tell me that's not going to impact Cork players in the future. It's a bigger issue with the GAA, though; you have to look at the number of stadiums that we have. Has anyone ever done an occupancy analysis on it? We have way too many stadiums," said the pundit. 

"We're investing loads of money in stadiums, and there's loads of proposals. I heard lately that there are 22 proposals that people are talking about for new stadiums."

Óg Cusack went on to say that the GAA's use of money reminded him of the UK political party known as the Tories in the UK. The Cork native wantsGAA Director General Tom Ryan to take some "responsibility" for his role in the debt issue with Cork GAA 

He continued: "It was the GAA that decided to build Croke Park; it was the GAA that decided to put the names on the jerseys; it was the GAA that decided to sell the television rights.

"It would remind you of the Tories in the UK, blaming everyone else and blaming the immigrants for their mistakes. When are we going to see Tom Ryan with a report and say, 'I'm taking responsibility for this, and I'm taking responsibility for this stadium'?

"The GAA and Croke Park are every bit as responsible as Cork for the debt that is here. They all approved it.

"While I say this is a nice stadium to come to tonight to watch a game, it is like going into some couple's home where they've got a nice front room, but they've got no dinner on the table. Because you can't tell me that this isn't going to impact Cork players into the future."