Meath and Kerry pursue online fundraising goal

28 Aug 2009

Ahead of their big game on Sunday in the All-Ireland semi-finals, it has emerged that the Meath and Kerry Gaelic football teams have joined to boost their fundraising efforts.

There are now 400 clubs around Ireland that use grassroots e-commerce site as a way of organising their respective local lotto initiatives.

Local lotteries and raffles are vital ways of funding local sports clubs – especially at a time when state funding is under threat – and Galway entrepreneur Warren Healy’s is becoming the tool of choice for GAA, rugby, soccer and golf clubs across Ireland and overseas to enable supporters to enter for prizes. was set up by Healy last year to allow clubs to hold and manage their lotteries online and not just in the local pub. The system allows the lottery organisers to cut down on the administration required, but also allows people who wouldn’t normally have the time, or be in the locality, to support their favourite teams via the internet.

The system has proven extremely popular with Irish people all over the world and now is being used by Belgium GAA to organise and raise funds for the ex-pats club. Rugby clubs including Blackrock RFC, Tuam and Corinthians are also using the system and Laois GAA is about to be coming aboard.

The system is also being used in Australia by the Cockburn Cougars basketball team after its coach discovered the service while coaching the University of Limerick basketball team.

“We are finding that transactions are doubling every two months and in July 1,900 people came on board to support their clubs in Ireland.

“We have a long way to go but the model has proven itself. Organisers just enter their information into the system and spread the word and manage their local lottery from there on in.”

Healy says the next stage for the lottery service is mobile. “We’re always looking at the mobile future, there’s just one drawback – the transaction costs that network operators charge.

“But we will move around that obstacle one way or another and move more into the mobile market space,” Healy concluded.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years