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Kerry GAA dismiss Spillane's claim that they were told to reject funds from Gooch's testimonial

Sunday Game pundit was ‘reliably informed’ that county board were instructed not to accept any money.

Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

KERRY GAA HAS rejected Pat Spillane’s claim that they were instructed by Croke Park officials not to accept funds from Colm Cooper’s testimonial dinner.

The opinion-splitting corporate-sponsored event took place in Dublin last month with tickets at €500 a head.

Five-time senior All-Ireland winner ‘Gooch’ confirmed in the weeks running up to the event that two charities — Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin and Kerry Cancer Support Group — along with Kerry GAA and his club Dr Crokes would benefit from the dinner.

Spillane wrote in his Sunday World column, which was published online on Monday:

“I am reliably informed that neither Kerry GAA nor Dr Crokes GAA will benefit financially from the gig. They have been instructed by the powers that be not to accept any money from it.”

He added, of the dinner: “The general consensus was that it wasn’t a good move and it certainly left a bad taste.

“While Colm has made a significant short-term gain, I think he could lose out in the longer term. Kerry GAA officials are privately seething over it.”

image (5) Kerry GAA officials respond in this week's edition of the Kerryman.

However, Kerry GAA secretary Ian Twiss has since told The Kerryman that no such instructions to turn down proceeds were given to the Kerry County Committee.

In an article headlined ‘We weren’t instructed to refuse Gooch cash,’ Twiss revealed that he was “informed of the GAA’s stipulation by someone close to the Kerry County Committee but he had so far failed to have this confirmed directly by the GAA”.

“We’ve tried to check it out but we can’t seem to get anyone to officially confirm this,” he said.

The Kerryman also reports that GAA headquarters were contacted on Tuesday evening but no one was available to comment.

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