GAA player grants scheme is renewed

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD

A revised support scheme for GAA inter-county players has been agreed and will see €900,000 provided in 2013 and in 2014.

As with the scheme in previous years, the Irish Sports Council will provide grant aid to the GAA who will then work with the Gaelic Players Association for the appropriate disbursement of the money to teams and players.

The Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD, commented: “I accept the principle behind the scheme and felt it was important that it be continued in some form.

"I am delighted that the Irish Sports Council will be able to put in place a renewed scheme with the GAA and GPA. Crucially it will cover the period until the end of 2014 which provides stability and certainty to the scheme.”

Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of the Irish Sport Council, said: “It is good news that there is a new agreement in place. Everyone involved wanted to see certainty with the scheme. The Council appreciates the support of Minister Ring in ensuring there was a consensus reached” .

GPA Chief Executive Dessie Farrell added: “It is of great importance that our county hurlers and footballers are recognised formally given the unique contribution they make as elite amateur athletes and I’d like to pay tribute to Minister Ring, his Department officials and the Irish Sports Council for their continuing support for this scheme.”

Since the initiation of the schemes, the GAA has formally recognised the GPA and the two bodies have now in place an agreement to cover a five-year period with regard to player welfare.

Additionally, the GPA has adopted in their Constitution a commitment to the GAA’s amateur ethos.

The annual team performance and annual support schemes for hurling and Gaelic football were initiated by the Government in 2008 in recognition of the contribution that GAA inter-county players have made to the economic and social fabric of the nation. The original agreement was put in place for three years.

The agreement has been reviewed by the Sports Council and it has been agreed by all parties, that while the principles of the schemes remain, it was an appropriate time to alter some logistical elements.

In particular, the contribution players make to national and local initiatives is welcomed as is their continued commitment to will work with Government, and the Sports Council in support of worthwhile campaigns and policy initiatives, for example 'The Gathering'.

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