Leitrim GAA seek financial help for overseas trips

Leitrim GAA has appealed to Croke Park and Connacht GAA for increased financial assistance ahead of next year’s overseas league and championship matches.

It’s Leitrim’s turn to travel to New York in 2023 for the opening round of the Connacht senior football championship.

The senior panel also potentially face at least one journey to Ruislip in Division 4 of the National League.

The county’s hurlers are also likely to be making at least one trip to England for either a league or championship game next season.

The county contacted the Provincial Council in Bekan and Croke Park’s Central Council last weekend to advise them of their concerns.

In the past, Connacht counties have received €50,000 from the GAA towards their American trip – but in recent seasons, that figure doesn’t come close to covering the costs of the Gaelic Park trip.

When Leitrim last played New York in the Connacht Championship in 2018, it cost the county board €95,000.

Increased travel and accommodation costs, both domestically and internationally, along with decreasing value of the euro with the US dollar on international currency markets are other factors which are set to significantly increase the financial burden.

Leitrim now estimate that the big increases in costs across the board means a US trip in 2023 is likely to cost in the region €180,000.

County officials have completed a review of Leitrim’s financial situation in 2022 – and the projected rise in costs across its entire operation in 2023 has prompted officials to seek additional financial help.

No date has been set yet for Leitrim’s Connacht Championship opener against New York in Gaelic Park.

Sligo’s game with New York earlier this year was played in April, on Easter Sunday – because of the change to the intercounty schedule.

The likelihood is that the Leitrim game will also be fixed for a Sunday in April – which being close to Easter – can be an expensive time of the year to travel.