Northern Ireland

GAA revenues at €112m in 2023, increase of €20m in income from when £15m first pledged towards overhaul of Casement Park

GAA President Jarlath Burns believes “unfair” for organisation to be asked to pay more towards development of west Belfast venue

A large excavator on site at Casement Park as works to clear the site continue. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN
Casement excavator A large excavator on site at Casement Park as works to clear the site continue. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN (Mal McCann)

GAA revenues have increase substantially since the organisation first pledged £15 million towards the overhaul of Casement Park approximately a decade ago.

The Croke Park-headquartered organisation posted consolidated revenues of €112m (£95m) in 2023, down on the previous year’s record €128m, largely due to the lack of concerts last year along with decreases in state funding and media rights money.

These figures compare to approximately €90m in overall consolidated revenue in 2014 after money was first committed to a revamped stadium in west Belfast.

The executive suites at the GAA headquarters, which are usually used for corporate hospitality, have become a temporary living space
GAA reported revenues of €112m in 2023, down on previous year, but double ten years ago


The GAA also owns property, including investments, with a reported net book value of close to €200m, according to recently published annual accounts.

Its operating surplus after costs did increase from €34m in 2014 to just under €60m last year.

But the non-profit pumped a total of €60m back into the the games across the island over the year. Largely due to extra income from the sale of land, it reported an overall surplus of €6.5m to add to already healthy reserves.

New GAA President Jarlath Burns said it would be unfair to ask the organisation to pledge more following he Irish Government’s promise to provide €50m (£42.5m) towards the planned 34,500 capacity venue.

Jarlath Burns began his three-year term as GAA president at Saturday's annual Congress in Newry. Picture by Sportsfile
GAA Congress Jarlath Burns began his three-year term as GAA president at Saturday's annual Congress in Newry. Picture by Sportsfile (SPORTSFILE)

Approximately £15m has already been spent on the Casement project over a decade of delay and repeated legal challenges, largely by local residents.

Communities Minister Gordon Lyons, in a written Assembly answer, stated the Stormont government has spent £11.9m and the GAA £3m. Preparatory work is continuing on the site, with a large excavator seen within the grounds on Monday.



Mr Burns told BBC’s Good Morning Ulster he would be voting against any suggestion that his organisation should provide more cash.

“We (the GAA) are not found wanting when it comes to spending money throughout the country but on this particular issue for me it is a point of principle,” he said.

A large excavator on site at Casement Park as works to clear the site continue. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN
Casement excavator A large excavator on site at Casement Park as works to clear the site continue. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN (Mal McCann)

The Silverbridge, south Armagh, native believes the Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris made a commitment to find the money to complete the project, which has to be finished by mid-2027 for inclusion as a Euro 2028 venue.

Describing as “unfair” to ask the GAA to pay more, Mr Burns said: “When you go into small villages or town all across Ireland and all you see is a school and a pub and a massive GAA complex, that hasn’t happened by accident.”

Indeed, the GAA’s annual accounts published earlier this month reveal €60m was sent back in grants for games development, player welfare, to the counties and for capital works. This included a substantial multi-million capital commitment to building a new training centre for Down GAA at the former army base at Ballykinlar.

Alliance MLA David Honeyford, the party’s sports spokesman, said there is a “real urgency for all involved to get behind it, especially if it is to make the deadline as set by UEFA”.

Workmen at Casement Park GAA stadium in Belfast
Casement Park GAA stadium Workmen at Casement Park GAA stadium in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

“It’s frustrating Casement currently remains stalled and it’s now important everyone shows their hand – including confirmation from the UK Government as to the level of investment it is prepared to make,” the Lagan Valley representative said. Alliance’s position is that the GAA could offer a little more.

In an interview with The Irish News, Mr Burns, whose first public engagement will be on Tuesday night to watch the Northern Ireland women’s soccer team against Montenegro at Windsor Park, was asked about what might happen if funding is not nailed down in time.

“Well if the money doesn’t come the Euros don’t come, and it goes back to being a GAA ground again and we would have to take the money that has been promised and build a stadium with that money,” Mr Burns said.

Alliance MLA David Honeyford
Alliance MLA David Honeyford

“But they are things I don’t even want to consider as we wait for this announcement from the British government.”

The Irish Government did not immediately reply when asked to clarify whether the €50m is dependent on funding being in place in time for work to start in time for the Euros, arguably this summer at the latest.

But in a statement announcing the overall €800m cross-border funding package last week, the Taoiseach’s office described the Casement money as a “contribution....to host matches as part of joint hosting by Ireland & UK of UEFA EURO2028″.