For some reason one of Abba's (remember them) big hits came to mind as I was exiting last week's Co. Board November gathering, held in the new gym at Manguard Plus, COE, Hawkfield.
The gym is not fitted out yet but we will come to that anon.
Anyway back to Abba, and the song in question in which the lyrics go along the lines ...
Money, Money Money
Must be funny
In a rich man's world, etc, etc.
Why, I can hear you ask, would that particular ditty come to mind?
Well money, not for the first time, was high on the agenda at that monthly meeting, and somewhat unusually, it was not all negative.
Initially Co Treasurer, Alan Dunney, informed those present that the yearly finances will again show a “healthy surplus” — somewhat surprisingly, all things considered I say to myself.
And while Alan did not give the full figures — they will be available at the upcoming Annual Convention — he did indicate that he will be in a position to add to the St Conleth's Park account that was set up in Croke Park for the re-development of same.
Now when Alan Dunney uses words like “healthy surplus” one can safely say that he could be in a position to add to that particular account by as much as €100,000 (give or take a grand) which if it turns out to be a figure of that nature, well, will be some achievement.
In more good news the same Mr Dunney informed delegates that the annual Club Draw, just ended, will see the Board another €100,000 to the good, and — wait for it — clubs will take in excess of €250,000.
Talk about Santa coming early.
And it doesn't end there!
The gym, where the gathering took place, is due to be fitted out before the end of November and will be fully operational “at the very latest, the first week of December” that according to Operations Manager Cormac Kirwan.
The (slight) hold-up is due, as the farmer in the corner might say, as we await the cheque in the post, due any day, a sports grant, already approved, for €35,000.
So that's the new gym done, dusted and all but fitted out.
On another financial matter, and following a query concerning a refund for an OAP who had purchased a ticket and there was some mix-up over a refund, and on the subject of on-line ticket sales, the treasurer dropped, what I considered to be a bit of a bombshell but which no delegate queried, was the fact that from 2022 there will be no cash sales, as Kildare GAA are going cashless.
I cod you not!
No more money changing hands.
Tap and Go.
Who would have believed it?
Not a delegate in the house (sorry, gym) raised a hand, a question or a query.
Credit Card, Debit Card or any kind of a card one can lay one's hand on but cash is a no, no.
“It's the way the GAA are going everywhere,” said Mr Dunney.
Not a murmur.
Tom Cross was not in the hall, Joe Moore was badly missed, surprised that Sean Malone did not query such a statement, so no questions; cash is no longer king, not as far as the GAA are concerned anyway.
But what about the match day programmes I say to myself?
Can they be purchased with cash or card?
What about the tea or coffee outlet, and will the new GAA rules also apply to that facility?
And what about the Biscuit Tin Man (Afternoon Tea or USA)? Bord na nÓg could take a big hit if that was closed down.
And will this new rule apply to club games?
And if it does how will the man in the middle get 'settled-up.'
Is Revolut next on the agenda?
Don't know much about this Revolut thingamajig, but I hear it being mentioned in certain quarters.
Some sort of way of transferring money from one account to another.
Will all réiteoir(s) have to sign up to Revolut?
Will all fans going to club games have to have a Revolut card?
Maybe Revolut might sponsor some of the club competitions.
We already have a garage main dealer, a bus company, a licensed premises, not forgetting a private hospital, so why not Revolut?
Then again we could just use the moola we have been using since the boys met down in Hayes' Hotel in Thurles on November 1, 1884 to form this great organisation.
Can you image one of the lads in Hayes' that evening doddling up to pay for the use of the facilities and being told “sorry no cash, card only.”
Where will all end I say to myself.
In the meantime, The Kildare Strategic Plan was adopted without a whisper, just wonder how many of the delegates read the entire 24 page document that plans out “A Vision of Success for Kildare GAA” something we will come back to in the next week or so.
No doubt in time, something will come up that certain people will disagree with and object vehemently, only to be told that was in the Strategic Plan that was adopted in November 2021.
Last Tuesday's gathering was also told of plans to upgrade Hawkfield, improve parking, improve spectator facilities and give the place a general face lift, all in preparation for the re-development of St Conleth's Park, which we were told (again) will commence in Quarter2, 2022.
Wouldn't be holding me breath on that one!
Meanwhile Confey delegate, Mary Barker, had a problem with the stiles at St Conleth's, at least came across a problem a fan had with them, and brought it up, only to be told “they will be gone in six months time.”
Leonie Delaney was not happy with online GAA content from Kildare GAA and certainly did not hold back on her criticism.
Meanwhile delegates were told that interviews for the post of minor county football boss will take place this week with 6/7 expressions of interest.
No mention, for some reason, of any 'outside, impartial, independent person' joining the interview panel.
The meeting was informed that U20 trials are ongoing while trial games for the senior footballers will be held, this week.
Allenwood delegate, Sean Malone, was not impressed with that particular news.
“A waste of time” was Sean's immediate response adding “sure the management (senior) should know every footballer in the county at this stage.”
Finally we were informed that the Annual Convention will be held in The Osprey Hotel, Naas, on Wednesday December 15.
In the meantime we can all sing along with Abba and that popular hit from 1976.
Money, Money, Money
Must be Funny
In a Rich Man's World.
Not any more it seems.
No more cash. Card or this new fandangled thing called Revolut.
I'm told it's called progress!
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