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Mayo cut off contact with millionaire benefactor Tim O'Leary following his 'Horan out' tweets

The county executive say they have been mandated by club delegates to cease dialogue with Mr. O’Leary in light of messages for which he apologised.

Mayo boss James Horan.
Mayo boss James Horan.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

MAYO GAA HAVE “ceased all dialogue” with benefactor Tim O’Leary following his tweets calling for the removal of James Horan as senior manager. 

O’Leary, who is the chairman of the Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation and has contributed vast sums to Mayo GAA in recent years, tweeted “#Horanout’” in the wake of yesterday’s nine-point Division One defeat to Monaghan. This tweet was deleted, but was followed by a second message echoing the sentiment, reading “#Horanout We are not very good. #Truthhurts always.”

This tweet was also deleted, and Mr. O’Leary apologised on Monday morning tweeting, “Sorry for my outburst yesterday – had a few too many pints – lesson learned – I am going to keep my mouth shut going forward.” 

Mr. O’Leary’s Twitter feed shows he spent yesterday afternoon at Twickenham, taking in Ireland’s Six Nations defeat to England with friends. He has since deleted his Twitter account. 

In a statement on Monday night, the Mayo Executive said they have been mandated by clubs to cease all dialogue with Mr. O’Leary in light of his tweets. 

“The Mayo GAA Executive can this evening confirm that we have ceased all dialogue with Mr. Tim O’Leary. Although relations were strained for a number of months, a way forward was agreed in January and it was hoped that both parties would be able to work together for the betterment of Mayo GAA, this however is now not the case”, read the statement. 

“The club delegates of Mayo GAA have mandated agreed behaviours based on mutual respect, the exclusion of animosity and the inappropriate use of communication channels such as social media.

“Mayo GAA will not engage with stakeholders whose behaviours deviate from what has been mandated by our clubs and in light of recent social media comments made by Mr. O’ Leary engagement has now ceased.

“Mayo GAA will be making no further public comment on this matter.” 

Tensions between the Mayo Executive and Mr O’Leary erupted publicly last year, when he raised questions about the governance of Mayo GAA and initiated court proceedings against Mayo GAA over a €150,000 donation. 

This dispute was resolved last month, with a joint statement from Mayo GAA, the Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation and Mr. O’Leary confirming that an agreement had been reached. 

Newly-elected county Chair Liam Moffatt offered Mr. O’Leary and his family an apology over “inappropriate and personal remarks” that were made about him, while Mr O’Leary confirmed he had terminated the legal action, apologised for some of his own behaviours during the dispute and said funds withheld during the dispute would now be granted to Mayo GAA. 

Mayo GAA have been contacted for comment for clarity on the position of that funding and whether they will accept any future funds raised by the International Supporters Federation.

- Originally published at 23.48, 24/02/2020

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Gavin Cooney

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