Donation will help with Newtownbutler developments says Hugo

By Niall Gartland and Mark McGoldrick

BILLIONAIRE Limerick financier JP McManus is donating €1 million to every county in Ireland to be invested in Gaelic games, a gesture that is very much welcomed by Newtownbutler chairman Hugo Fitzpatrick.

It emerged last Friday that Mr McManus, one of the richest men in Ireland, is gifting €32 million to be distributed equally in support of men’s football, ladies football, hurling and camogie.

Fermanagh clubs are expected to receive in the region of tens of thousands of euros when the exact details are ironed out by the county board.

Newtownbutler have carried out significant development works at their club grounds in recent years and they aren’t finished yet, and their chairman Hugo Fitzpatrick is elated with the news of McManus’ nation-wide donation.

“It’s amazing, I can’t get over it, it’s a pity there isn’t more like him! It’s a massive thing for our club.

“We’re in the middle of a massive development, we’re doing it stage-by-stage and it’s great to receive a bit of extra help. It’ll help a lot with the running of the club as well.

“Everything we’ve done to date has been paid for, thankfully we’ve no outstanding loans and we’re trying to keep it that way, so the money we’ll get from JP will go a long way.”

Fermanagh GAA county treasurer Sean Burns has confirmed that the Erne executive received a self-penned letter and cheque for €1 million from the Limerick billionaire.

“JP McManus Charitable Foundation have provided a million euro to the GAA, camogie and ladies Gaelic football clubs of Fermanagh,” said Burns.

“To be distributed through the good offices of the county management committee of Fermanagh GAA, the allocation will take place no later than January 31 2024.”

At the time of going to press, Burns said that no decision had been reached on how the money will be divided among the clubs, adding that the matter would be discussed at a county board meeting.

On Thursday, Fermanagh GAA’s PRO, Deirdre Felloni, issued a public thanks to Mr McManus.

“Thank you to Noreen, JP and all the McManus family for this very generous donation,” said Fermanagh GAA’s PRO.

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