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Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh

Introducing Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh

This is just a brief introduction to some of the main aspects of the Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh Scheme which the club launched in May 2010. It's broken down as follows:

  1. We start with a brief overview of what Aodh Ruadh GAA club does in the community,
  2. Then we move on to why we need the Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh scheme
  3. We examine how the scheme will work
  4. We look at the tax situations with respect to donations
  5. How you can sign up to play your part

Introducing Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh

Let's just talk a little about what Aodh Ruadh provides to it's members and the wider community in Ballyshannon.

First up there's coaching. We have dozens of top quality coaches in the club mentoring and developing players at every level. Helping players to make the most of their abilities and become the best they can be. Currently we train and develop over 20 different teams in football and hurling for boys and girls, men and women.

We provide players with a competitive outlet to express for their talents and their pride in the place they come from. We channel natural competitive instincts into constructive and self-improving past-times.

We give people a social outlet and help to bind the wider community together. We bring young people together in a fun and safe environment where they can make new friends and learn new skills. As we enter our second century we are a constant in Ballyshannon, providing a beacon of stability in a rapidly changing world. In doing so we are a reference point for this community. Event's such as the Centenary Celebration night illustrate what a central part the club plays in the area and the high esteem it is held in by the people of Ballyshannon. We also work hand in hand with local community groups helping them to meet their goals as part of our wider ethos of social responsibility.

On that note, it is little noted outside the club, but we also provide much needed employment through the FÁS community employment scheme. A scheme which helps keep our facilities maintained to such a high standard.

In a world where issues such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, drink and drugs are ever more pressing issues, Aodh Ruadh is at the forefront of promoting a healthy lifestyle in this community. We put a high value on athletic achievement and instruct and educate our players on dietary and lifestyle issues.

Another important aspect of what we do is promote excellence through supplying our county team with players capability of cutting the mustard at county grade. Brian Roper and Johnny Gallagher are only the latest in a long and illustrious history. With Peter Boyle and Donagh McIntyre on the 2010 Ulster championship winning under 21 team, Peter and Ronan McGurrin on the minor team. Donna Martin on the division two winning ladies team, Tara Khan, Dearbhaile McNeill and Anna Rafferty on the minor team, Peter Horan, Aidan Begley and Chris Kilgannon on the senior hurling team and contributions at all other grades to the county hurling sides it's a heritage we're proud to maintain.

The most obvious manifestation of what we provide to this community is the wonderful state of the art facilities where everything we do takes place. We have six dressing rooms, access to four pitches between Father Tierney Park, Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh and the De La Salle field, an impressive stand with turnstile access. Aras Aoidh Ruaidh, opened as the club's Millennium project, facilitates social events, meetings, the media and gatherings of every shape and make. We have at our disposal here some of the best facilities, not only in Donegal, but anywhere in the country.

To cut a long, long story short. We have a good thing here. This club is something for everyone in Ballyshannon to be proud of. And, essentially, what Cairde Aoidh Ruadh is about is taking us on to the next level.

Why Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh? Why now?

Over the past ten years Aodh Ruadh, through the club's Park and Development committee, has invested a million euro in improving our existing facilites and constructing new facilities. This has been achieved through intensive and sustained voluntary effort. Let's just take a quick look at what projects that money went into.

Father Tierney park extended
The playing surface on Father Tierney Park, a Donegal county ground, was extended to inter-county championship standards to eliminate an age old contention that the pitch was 'too tight.'

Aras Aoidh Ruaidh built
Aras Aoidh Ruaidh was officially opened as the Club's Millennium project.

Buying Munday's field
Funds were generated to service the substantial borrowings associated with the two separate parcels of land which made up the Munday's Field site. An expensive and courageous acquisition.

Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh
Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh was officially opened in May 2009. The site incorporates an enclosed Prunty sand-based championship standard GAA playing field and a smaller Prunty training field. The ground-works to enable floodlighting and a base for a jogging/walking trail are also in place.

Future developments
Plans have been advanced and negotiations commenced to achieve GAA funding support to modernise Father Tierney Park, including renewal of the pitch surface, improved spectator amenities and floodlighting. Planning approval has been achieved for these ambitious developments. In developing our facilities to their current high standard the club has had to take on considerable debt. In order to clear accumulated debts and complete outstanding works we have set ourselves a fund raising target of 250,000 euro for capital works over a five year period. Cairde Aodh Ruadh will play a critical part in meeting this target together with any available sources of grant-aid, all of which are being vigorously pursued.

In the simple act of running the club we are running an annual deficit of around 10,000 euro. Last year for example the club brought in 115,000 euro. However our expenses for that period were 125,000. It is difficult for the club to attain its goals and achieve its full potential in such a challenging funding scenario. As a club, we have decided a long-term funding strategy is necessary. Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh is about helping to raise the money to make all this happen. It's about people who believe in the aims and objectives of Aodh Ruadh, about people who care about the GAA and the role it plays in our society and the future of our young people.

When we read the papers and watch the news with their seemingly endless stream of economic doom and gloom you might wonder are we quite sane trying to launch a scheme like this in such a hostile environment with money so thin on the ground. By way of response we can simply point to Father Tierney Park. That pitch was opened in 1954, at a much more challenging time in this country's history. We have the vision of those people to thank for having that pitch. Yes, the financial outlook is gloomy, but we've done this before in this town and we can do it again. Let's give our children and grand children a reason to look back and wonder how we achieved what we managed to achieve what we achieved in such adverse circumstances.

How does it work?

So, how does the scheme actually work, well, simply put, members of Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh agree to contribute 21 euro a month or 250 euro a year to the club. The most convenient way of doing this is by filling out the standing order form in the Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh Brochure and returning it to your Cairde promoter or our club treasurer, the ever-efficient Mary Grimes. Her address is Allingham Avenue, The Mall, Ballyshannon, County Donegal.

That's one way, but members can also make alternative payment arrangements if this doesn't suit, for example by an writing a cheque annually or the like. Also if people would like to join Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh but can't afford 21 euro a month they can do so, but that has tax implications which we'll come to a little later. Similarly if people would like to pay more into the scheme we can also facilitate that.

Some organisations have placed a specific duration on schemes like this. We in Aodh Ruadh decided against this. Building a strong club requires steady and sustained financial commitment, and for that reason the scheme has no termination date. Nevertheless, members can withdraw from the scheme at any time after they sign on.

Now, we'll just to come back to the point about the 21 euro a month contribution. The generosity of Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh members means the club can also claim major tax relief in respect of those personal donations. Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh has been structured to maximise those tax benefits. Irish Tax Legislation provides for sporting bodies to reclaim tax from The Revenue Commissioners on behalf of the donor. For PAYE workers, who contribute a minimum of €250 per annum, this contribution is paid from after-tax income and it is this tax payment that is reclaimed by the club. It costs the donor nothing extra but provides a huge benefit to the sporting body. The scheme works slightly differently for the self employed, company directors and corporate donations. In those situations it can be treated as a tax deductible expense in the normal manner, thus tax benefit reverts to the donor. These tables illustrate the tax claw back a little more clearly.

Individual Donor on 20% Tax
Donation Tax Benefit Total Received by Club
€250 €63 €313
€295 €74 €369
€590 €148 €738
€1,000 €250 €1,250
Individual Donor on 41% Tax
Donation Tax Benefit Total Received by Club
€250 €174 €424
€295 €205 €500
€590 €410 €100
€1,000 €695 €1,695

What's in it for me?

In a material sense, very little. However the kind of person who will sign up for this scheme is someone strongly committed to Aodh Ruadh. They believe in what we do and what we represent. People who want to ensure that work continues to be done to the highest standard and in the best facilities.

Each Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh member will receive a specially commissioned Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh lapel pin. They will also receive an annual report on the progress of Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh which will give members a clear picture of where we are in relation to our goals.

More significantly, we feel, Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh members can feel that they are truly playing their part in sustaining and building a key pillar in the life and culture of the Ballyshannon community.

Play your part

Right now we are appealing to club members and supporters to get behind the scheme. To get further information on Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh you can download the brochure below. This brochure also includes the standing order form for the scheme. If anyone needs any further information don't hesitate to contact us on or call 087-6431805.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 2 June 2020 at 3:58pm