20 years Cumainn Luthchleas Gael Mháigh Cuilinn Lotto

November 7, 2018


Although the 1000th  draw passed by unnoticed in January, it has dawned on us that the Cumainn Luthchleas Gael Mháigh Cuilinn Lotto will be 20 years old this year. It is hard to understand now, but the idea of a Lotto was not accepted initially. The idea of a joint continuous weekly fundraising project was new to both clubs and the usual concerns on sharing the work, responsibility and the income abided and €500 on that first jackpot plus printing and publicity was seen a big financial risk. Not since the marquees/carnivals of the seventies had the clubs risked so much. It was fully a year from the first mooting of the idea to the first draw on 5th June 1994. In the meantime a separate Lotto Committee had been formed with Máirtín Clancy, Seán O'Dea and Kenneth Fox as Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary respectively. A large committee of 20/30 would be responsible for ticket sales. The first draw had four Match 3 winners; Billy Kyne, Leagaun, Kenneth Carr, Roscahill, Derek Casey, Oughterard and Lucy Treacy, Kilrainey. The first jackpot to be won was £1200 which went to Tom Newell, Tooreeny on 17th July and a week later the next Jackpot of £500 was won by Austin Leonard, Oldtown. Despite the early Jackpot wins the following article from Moycullen Matters later that year is positive:

Moycullen GAA Lotto Going Strong
As many may or may not know, Moycullen Football and hurling Club have been running a weekly Lotto draw in an effort to bring some consistent finance to their own activities and to aid the Pitch Committee in maintaining  and developing the sports fields at Baile Doite.  So far Lotto has proved a great success, with many people within the parish and without joining in the spirit of "having a flutter". What this has meant, is that for the first time in many years the financing of the clubs has been on a sound footing and that each has been able to make a realistic contribution to the Pitch Committee in order that it can meet its commitments. Both club cater for over 200 playing members from ages seven to forty-seven, fielding nine teams each in over 30 competitions. An invaluable group of mentors , officials and ordinary members help keep the show on the road.  Few realise the cost of running clubs with such high participation levels. For the Pitch Committee basic maintenance of existing facilities ( electricity, insurance, pitch maintenance alone) runs to over £4000 p.a. Without engaging in any improvement of facilities. Each club has affiliation and insurance overheads of £1200 before any activity is undertaken. Purchase of equipment, transport for underage teams, medical costs all must follow. The nett result is that if a club is to provide a suitable standard of facilities, equipment and support, the annual requirement would be at least £10,000.

The Lotto began on the 4th of June and while it has not quite generated that amount of funding to date (20th November) it has enabled a lot of old debts, generously and patiently us pursued by many local businesses, to be cleared and funded the basics for the clubs.  The hope is that we will have continued support and that some pitch improvements (e.g. refurbishment of dressing rooms, ball nets) can be undertaken, as well as maintaining better funding for the clubs.  Special thanks is due to those people who have made the Lotto work, the sellers, the checkers and counters, the local businesses whose support has been outstanding, the local pubs who have been generous in providing facilities for the draws. And most of all, you, the people buying the tickets. In return for this support, the Lotto Committee will be providing some extra prizes in the run-up to the Christmas holiday. GAA clubs being parish based are still an important means of expression of community pride and we hope in the coming year we can repay your support by making you proud of us.

20 years on the Lotto has proved all important in providing that stable funding for the clubs. The numbers participating are more like 400 now and those affiliation and insurance costs are closer to €10,000. Baile Doite is transformed in that time with the stand, all weather, lights, children's playground and now an extended clubhouse all added. The Lotto has not funded it all but has certainly given the clubs confidence to attempt the projects. And we have had some good days on the playing fields as well!