Galway club given €10k and match tickets by John Delaney

Padraig Grogan, Emma English and John Delaney at Ballymoe
Padraig Grogan, Emma English and John Delaney at Ballymoe

The secretary of the Galway soccer club who had been expecting John Delaney to open their new pitch last weekend has revealed they were given 50 tickets for Ireland’s game by the FAI chief.

Ballymoe FC had announced the FAI CEO would be in attendance to open a new all-weather pitch on Saturday.

However, Delaney did not attend on Saturday and according to club secretary Kathleen Hegarty the ribbon was cut by Gerry Tully, Secretary of the Roscommon and District Football League.

In an e-mail to the Sunday World Hegarty also revealed that Delaney did turn up at the club on Sunday to unveil a plaque marking the pitch opening.

'Mr. Delaney spent Sunday evening in Ballymoe where he granted us €10,000 from the FAI with 50 tickets for an Ireland game,' Hegarty added.

Regarding Saturday's events, Hegarty said: 'Saturday in Ballymoe FC was not about John Delaney but about the opening of our new all weather football pitch. It was about the important people in the club, i.e. the players and committee.  

'We had a hugely successful day enjoyed by young and old with all our underage teams from U.8 to U.18 taking to the field.  We also had a wonderful game of football for our past players ranging age from 30 to 55.  

'This day was finished off by our present first team playing in a shield final.  

'The absence of John Delaney did not disappoint anyone on the day.

'The presence of media probably would have tainted the day had he arrived as it would have turned into a circus and the real essence of the day would be lost.'