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GAA Urged To Speed Up Merger With LGFA And Camogie Association

GAA Urged To Speed Up Merger With LGFA And Camogie Association
By PJ Browne

The Gaelic Players Association has submitted a motion for consideration at GAA congress later this month "urging the GAA to take proactive, meaningful and swift action to expedite integration with the LGFA and the Camogie Association".

The GPA and Women's GPA voted to merge into one association in late 2020. In a recent survey, 97 per cent of the GPA's membership voted in favour of the GAA, LGFA, and Camogie Association merging.

The GPA's motion asks that: "The GAA shall prioritise integration with the LGFA and Camogie Association in order to jointly ensure equal investment, recognition and opportunity for all genders to play all sports in the Gaelic Games family."

The statement continues: "We believe that as the Gaelic Games family is the largest sporting and community entity in Irish life, it has an unmatched capacity to herald a cultural change in the experience of girls and women in sport and in the communities that they live in.

"This change begins with a reflection on recognition for women in Gaelic Games. This includes how women are represented in local and national leadership, the level of support and visibility for women in coaching and officiating, the investment and development of female players, and the acknowledgment of the contribution of women in Gaelic Games. Critically, this process must be led nationally by the leadership of our three NGB’s.

"It is our belief that we can best contribute to societal change for girls and women by calling for systemic change within Gaelic Games and equality can best be delivered by one combined governing body for Gaelic games."

Tom Parson, the CEO of the GPA, said that "The spirit of this motion is about action for gender equality in sport and bringing the Gaelic family together.

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"It is about showing women and girls, whether they are involved in Gaelic games or not, that the biggest sporting and cultural organisation in Ireland values you every bit as much as it does your brothers, partners, nephews and husbands.

"We appreciate and respect the three NGBs have been on a journey towards closer links and closer cooperation. What players are asking for now is that the GAA expediate this process, in a spirit of consultation with the LGFA and Camogie Association. I believe this change will have the power to unite us and ignite Gaelic games.

"The outcome players want to see is a road map that sets out clear actions and timelines that leads to one national organisation overseeing our games. Players believe in today’s world we must deliver equal opportunity, recognition and investment regardless of gender and that this motion supports the GAA mantra ‘Where we all belong’."

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The GPA's Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion manager Gemma Begley added: "In recent times we have seen the overwhelming decision by players to merge the WGPA & GPA and since that decision the government has backed equality with the announcement of equal investment and recognition for players. Changes like this have made a huge difference for female players, but ultimately players believe equality cannot be truly achieved under separate governing bodies.

"Now players are asking the leadership of our Gaelic games to hear our voice and take immediate action to make equality a key priority for the association."

GAA congress takes place on February 26th.

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Picture credits: Sportsfile

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