We are proud to present the 2023 Annual Report of the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) on behalf of the GPA’s National Executive Committee (NEC). The NEC is elected by the GPA membership and decides the strategic direction of the association and directs policy on key matters impacting players. CEO Tom Parsons and the GPA staff then work to implement the strategic goals of the Association. In 2023 we have achieved numerous highlights which will be referenced throughout this report, some of which we will shine a spotlight on here. The GPA works to our four strategic pillars; Welfare, Development, Representation and Equality. Significant advancements have been achieved under each of these pillars in 2023.

In recent weeks we have read testimonies from Mayo footballer Saoirse Lally and Antrim hurler Paul Boyle about undergoing cardiac procedures following issues that came to light during screening within their squads. These were potentially life saving interventions.

In 2023, 752 players underwent cardiac screening which is up 22% on the previous year.  Of that number 47 follow up tests were required.  Each and every player screened is potentially a life saved.  That is why, as the NEC, we are fully supportive of the ambition of the recently formed Irish Athletes Alliance, to have elite athletes who are on talent development pathways across the country cardiac screened and would welcome government support and indeed policy to make this so.

Concussion is to the forefront of player welfare in contact sports globally.  It should not be treated lightly.  Therefore, we were delighted to see our Concussion Baseline Testing, delivered by our partners UPMC, really ramp up in 2023.  Numbers grew by almost 100% to 820.  Of those, 14 required specialised follow-up treatment.

Both our Cardiac Screening and Concussion Baseline Testing are formidable preventative tools, as we look to protect the welfare of inter-county players.

Supporting the development of our members is a crucial element of our work.  About a third of our members are still in third-level education and it is difficult for them to achieve balance between their student/professional lives and their playing commitments.  This is something which was highlighted in the recently published GPA Student First Report.  That gives even greater relevance to our work in this area because we truly see our members as people first.

In 2023, over 1,000 individual BEO 360 Coaching sessions were delivered.  BEO 360 is a programme developed specifically for our members, aimed at supporting their personal development. The sessions are delivered in the areas of Life-Skills, Dual Career, Wellbeing and Transition.

There were 125 new referrals to our Counselling Service which was in line with 2022 numbers.  In total 714 individual counselling sessions were scheduled.  Inter-county players face the same pressures in their lives as the rest of society but, in some incidences, it becomes more acute given their lack of time due to playing and training commitments.  This is something that we continue to monitor.

It was great to see a number of new initiatives introduced in 2023 in support of our members’ needs.  This included the GPA Business Forum where former players who have achieved success in the world of business shared their personal stories and advice to those starting out on their journeys in the world of business.  It is another platform for former players to give back to the current cohort of inter-county players and will be built upon in 2024.

Our CEO Tom Parsons will expand on a number of areas in which representation was key in 2023 in his message.  This pillar is all encompassing as it involves representing your views to all stakeholders including the National Governing Bodies, Sport Ireland and the Minister for Sport.  What we will highlight here is the GPA’s active and prominent role within EAPA (European Athletes and Players Association) and World Players.

EAPA was founded in 2008 in order to defend and promote athletes’ rights and interests.  EAPA is the leading multi-sport federation of athlete and player associations (sports trade unions) with 32 members in 15 European countries. More than 25,000 elite athletes are represented through the membership.  We are proud that Tom Parsons sits on the Executive Board of this organisation bringing the perspective of elite amateur athletes to the table.

The World Players Association is the leading voice of organised players in the governance of world sport. It brings together 85,000 players across professional sport through more than 100 player associations in over 60 countries.  Through Tom’s high-level role in EAPA he is also tasked with representing that organisation at World Players level.

Our work with both of these bodies allows us to learn from and gain fresh perspectives from our fellow players around the world and also allows us to share our experience.  The support from both EAPA and World Players during the player protest last summer, both publicly and privately, was very important to our members.

Although it falls outside of 2023, we also want to reference the recent presentation speeches by new GAA President Jarlath Burns after the Division 1 league finals.  To hear the inter-county game being spoken about with passion and respect by a leading GAA official is a breath of fresh air.  We hope this is a sign of things to come.

Players did not want to protest last summer.  However, while not wanting to be in the position, we are proud of how our members conducted themselves.  Standing up (or in this case sitting down) for yourself is not always easy.

The first weekend of the protest on the weekend of June 24th/25th was particularly powerful – 2 codes, 20 games, 40 teams, 1200 players, 1 message – #UnitedForEquality.  On July 16th the footballers of Derry and Kerry showed their support for their female counterparts by displaying a UnitedForEquality banner in team photos. It’s disappointing this simple act of support that did not disrupt team preparations or games was met with such resistance by GAA officials.

Players lead the GPA. It is a players organisation directed, overseen and run by players for players. It is important to reflect on the work that is being carried out on behalf of, and in many cases by, players. There are 11 full-time staff looking after almost 4,000 players. Of those staff, 10 are current or former players. The NEC of 20 is made up of current and former players and the majority of Directors at Board level are from our NEC.

Finally, we would like to say a heartfelt thank you to every member of the NEC and Board with whom we have served in a time of great change for the GPA. We will be standing down from our roles at the AGM. We do so with the GPA as a leading voice for positive change in Gaelic games. The GPA is a strong independent voice for all players unprejudiced by team, tier, gender, or sport. We wish our successors the very best as they take up the challenge. And to you our members, thank you for your support and for being unafraid to have yor voices heard.

Portraits of GPA Co-Chairs Matt O'Hanlon and Maria Kinsella
Portrait of GPA CEO Tom Parsons


Dear GPA Members,

I am honoured to serve the players as Chief Executive, and I continue to be absolutely committed to ensuring the GPA is focused on championing the interests of all inter-county players. My commitment is to advance the fair treatment of players and ensure player welfare, development, and recognition are implemented on your behalf.

Our overarching goal is to empower each of you to excel both on and off the field with our development and welfare services. We are dedicated to ensuring that your voices are not just heard but are influential in shaping the future of our sport. Your active participation and engagement have been critical in our ongoing interactions with the National Governing Bodies throughout 2023, driving substantial progress in our advocacy efforts.

In 2023, the GPA’s role in representing players’ voices was pivotal. While we strive to influence change through dialogue with National Governing Bodies, players also exercised their collective voice for positive change and to ensure fair treatment. I’m proud of the stands you took in 2023.

This past year, the GPA has successfully led advocacy efforts, resulting in enhanced player welfare and fairness for female players. A key accomplishment was the establishment of the first mandated female player charter, addressing the absence of minimum standards in training and playing conditions for female players, as noted in the State of Play Report.

The #UnitedForEquality player protest initiative was propelled by female players and supported by their male counterparts, to ensure equal treatment when it comes to minimum standards for female inter-county players. It was very positive to see a resolution with the LGFA and Camogie Association, which would not have been possible without the financial contribution of the GAA.

On the men’s front, our members from lower-tier hurling counties worked together with the GPA to oppose and successfully influence the overturning of a proposal to remove their teams from national leagues. This collective action, supported by the Liam MacCarthy captains, highlights the players’ commitment to ensuring fairness and equity across all tiers of competition.

Other important issues included the inadequate insurance coverage for injuries. Led by Clare hurler Shane O’Donnell, who brought a motion presented at the GPA AGM in 2023 off the back of suffering a complex injury, his leadership no doubt helped influence the GAA to enhance injury cover benefits for male intercounty players, which is a positive step forward.

These examples not only demonstrate the GPA’s important advocacy work but also emphasise the importance of our players’ voices in driving meaningful change and fairness across Gaelic games. Independent representation and advocacy for players are vital to ensuring the fair treatment of inter-county players in the Gaelic Games. Our membership with European Athletes and Players Association and the World Players Association has increased our awareness of athlete human rights and fairness.

Looking ahead, the GPA is committed to advocating for and enacting policies that focus on player welfare, development, fairness and increased recognition of what our members contribute to our national games and society. We’ve already seen encouraging developments in our relationship with GAA in 2024, with the leadership of new GAA President Jarlath Burns. Nevertheless, we will tackle several key challenges this year, including:

a. Player Welfare and the Load of the Current Competition Structure

The GPA will advocate for;

  1. A balanced fixtures schedule that addresses the condensed nature of games,
  2. A sufficient gap between league and championship,
  3. The implementation of the agreed contact hours policy to ensure adequate rest and recovery periods, and a guaranteed off-season.

However, those principles need to be designed within the Split-Season window, which already exceeds 8 months of inter-county activity. With changes in the competition structures anticipated for 2025, the GPA continues to strongly support a split-season for inter-county and club activity, which has been viewed positively by 85% of our players. 63% of players agree that a split-season reduces the time demands on inter-county players.

A key challenge is the new structures were designed with the intention of pausing the pre-season competitions, and the GAA is trying to squeeze too many competitions into an agreed window for inter-county players.

Our members are elite amateur athletes, with growing professional and commercial demands to generate more income for the Governing Bodies to fund grassroots activities and infrastructure investments. Balancing commitments to their club, county, personal lives, and professional careers, continues to be a juggling act that is becoming increasingly unsustainable.

A shorter season and defined break periods for inter-county players remain an absolute priority. Expanding the season with increased playing demands is not a solution to protect amateurism or reduce the load on players. Players, of course, support the concept of more meaningful, competitive games, but we find it increasingly challenging to justify pre-season competitions with overlapping eligibility issues in January, which add to the player load. We are putting a significant focus on player load in 2024 and 2025 and addressing the red flags raised in our 2024 Student Report.


b. Representation and Equality in Female Sports

The Gaelic Players Association is the official representative body for male and female inter-county players since the amalgamation with the WGPA in 2020. Players have the right to organise and be represented by their chosen elected body, the GPA.

However, the leadership of the LGFA and Camogie Association continue to only selectively recognise the GPA as the representative body when it suits their own needs. For example, the Associations work collaboratively with us on securing and administering state funding for players. In this process, the GPA is also recognised as the official player representatives by Sport Ireland and the Department of Sport.

It is therefore contradictory of the Associations to state that they do not recognise the GPA on other matters that are important to players. This issue has become increasingly pronounced since the #UnitedForEquality protest in 2023 and continues to be unacceptable.

For clarity, the GPA is the official representative body for female inter-county players and will assert the rights of players on their behalf, to ensure fair treatment. In this capacity, the GPA looks forward to working collaboratively with the Associations.


c. Sustaining Amateur Status and Financial Sustainability

Maintaining the amateur status of inter-county players, despite the growing professional and commercial pressures, remains a critical priority. Since 2009, the GAA commercial share with the GPA, has supported crucial player development and welfare services. These services not only acknowledge the significant contributions players make to the game but also enhance their personal, leadership, educational and athletic growth.

Specific initiatives funded by this partnership include advanced training programs, health and wellness support and educational scholarships, which help secure a stable future for players both during and after their athletic careers.

Moreover, we are actively advocating for policy changes that protect our players’ rights, ensuring they are treated with fairness and that their voices are influential in all aspects of our games; examples include the player charter, contact hours policy and benefits as defined in the protocol agreement. We also call on the broader community, including fans and corporate partners, to recognise and support the players’ amateur status, while respecting the “professional” commitment they bring to Gaelic games.

Our members are elite amateur athletes who are key to the GAA’s financial success but remain unpaid. Their rights must be fiercely protected, ensuring they are treated with fairness and that their contributions are both recognised and valued. That is a significant responsibility for the GPA to champion.

In 2023, we again reached a significant number of players who participated in our BEO360 player development programs. Our programs are carefully tailored to meet players’ specific needs, and we aim to continue providing valuable support to help them maintain a healthy balance between their lives on and off the pitch.

They invest extensive time in training and competition, all while volunteering their efforts without financial compensation.  It is imperative that the GPA offer world class services to players thrive in their lives off the field, and I could encourage players to engage BEO 360.

As CEO, I am profoundly thankful for the steadfast commitment and passion shown by our members. I extend my gratitude to the NEC, Board, Committee members and staff for their relentless support. I would like to especially acknowledge the exceptional dedication of our outgoing NEC co-chairs, Matt O’Hanlon and Maria Kinsella. Their tireless efforts have significantly advanced the cause of fair treatment for our players, and their leadership has been truly inspirational.

Let us all continue to work together to advocate for positive change, prioritise player welfare, and celebrate the invaluable contributions of our inter-county players.

Warm regards,
Tom Parsons



2023 was an unprecedented year for players using their collective voice to push for progress in equality of treatment in Gaelic games. Over 1,700 female players stood in solidarity with one another during the #UnitedForEquality campaign, supported by their male counterparts, calling for the introduction of agreed standards of welfare and care, to be guaranteed through a Player Charter. Player survey data showed ongoing inconsistencies around medical supports, player provisions and a continued lack of mileage expenses from the Associations. Players sought to work with the Associations to tackle these issues collaboratively, but progress was only achieved after they made a stand publicly and collectively. Agreement was reached with LGFA and Camogie that a Player Charter would be introduced ahead of the 2024 season, a milestone reached through the direct action of the players.

Other highlights in this area included the GPA/GAA Pride Breakfast hosted in Croke Park with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in attendance, the establishment of Female health & wellbeing working group looking at issues specific to female players, and a nomination for the Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Award at the Business & Finance Irish Business Awards.


In November 2022, the GPA surveyed 1,579 female members on their experiences in inter-county Gaelic games. The key insights from the report highlighted a continued lack of consistency on expenses and player supports, lower access to sport science supports and adequate facilities than male players, and female specific health and injury issues. Three key priorities were identified to help tackle these issues namely, Travel Expenses funding, A Squad Charter with agreed minimum standards, and Female Specific Supports. Players presented the findings of the report to the Gaelic games Associations and asked to work collaboratively on delivering solutions ahead of the 2024 season, before the report was released publicly in April 2023.


Delayed progress on commitments to a Player Charter led players to publicly highlight their objection. A press event was held by senior Camogie and Ladies Football captains to launch the #UnitedForEquality campaign, stating that teams would play the remainder of the Championship under protest. This led to collective player action across 1,700 female players at all games, with demonstrations such as slogan t-shirts and delayed throw-ins, as well as public displays of solidarity from their male counterparts. Agreement was eventually reached with the LGFA and Camogie Association to work collaboratively to ensure standardised player welfare and supports for all players ahead of the 2024 season.


The GPA and GAA jointly hosted a Pride Breakfast in Croke Park, with over 100 players and members from across Ireland joining guest of honour An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to celebrate diversity and inclusion in Gaelic games. The group then marched in the Dublin Pride Parade. The GPA also worked in partnership with SuperValu to share Rainbow laces with all GPA staff and inter-county squads to show support for the Wear With Pride campaign throughout Pride month.

Female Specific
Health &

A working group was established, comprised of sports science practitioners and researchers, to look at issues specifically affecting female players in relation to health and injuries. The GPA also worked in conjunction with the LGFA, Camogie and the GAA, through targeted state funding, to administer a programme of female health checks, available to 29 squads and tailored to the needs of our elite inter-county athletes.

Visibility &

A module on driving gender equality in Gaelic Games was delivered as part of the GPA Youth Leadership conference for transition year students, sharing the learnings from the GPA’s integration journey. The GPA continues to work with the Camogie Association and PwC on the Annual player of the year awards, as well as with PwC on the player of the month awards which are presented across all four codes. Recognition for all of the work the GPA has undertaken in the last number of years was achieved through a nomination for the Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Award at the Business & Finance Irish Business Awards.


Representation underpins and indeed directs a lot of the work we do under our other pillars. We represent the interests of all of our members. Our work in Welfare, Development and Equality relies on ensuring that our members’ interests are to the fore. Here we will concentrate on highlights across all areas of GPA activity which gives a voice to players to enact positive change, both on and off the field of play.

Hurling Development

In late 2023 a proposal from the Central Competitions Control Committee to remove the hurlers from Cavan, Fermanagh, Leitrim, Longford and Louth from the National Leagues was to be considered by GAA’s Central Council. To players, this was seen as a cost cutting exercise that could potentially kill hurling in those counties. Led by GPA Squad Reps in the five impacted counties a high-profile campaign was carried out both publicly and behind the scenes to garner support within those counties to reject the proposal. All five counties eventually decided to oppose it, with four going on the record publicly. Eventually, the proposal was removed from Central Council’s agenda without a vote. The work of Matthew Hynes (Cavan), Rory Porteous (Fermanagh), Martin Feeney (Leitrim), Johnny Casey (Longford) and Peter Fortune (Louth) should be acknowledged as should the support of their teammates, management teams and the clubs within the five counties.

GPA Vice-President

At our AGM in October a motion was passed unanimously that changed the GPA Constitution allowing for the creation of a new role on our National Executive Committee, that of Vice-President. The role replaced the position of Secretary. Subsequently Mayo’s Cora Staunton was elected the first Vice-President of the GPA’s National Executive Committee joining Co-Chairs Matt O’Hanlon and Maria Kinsella and President Dónal Óg Cusack as executive officers of the committee.

Enhanced Injury Cover Motion

Clare hurler Shane O’Donnell brought a motion to the GPA AGM seeking an increase in loss of wages cover for players who cannot work due to an injury picked up while playing. This motion was also passed unanimously. As a result, the GPA brought the outcome of this motion to the GAA through the Joint Relationship Committee which oversees the partnership between the GAA and GPA. The GAA took action on this to significantly increase the cover available to players through the injury fund.

Presentation to
houses of the

In November the GPA was delighted to accept an invitation to present to TDs, Senators and their staff, as well as Oireachtas officials on the work carried out by our association. A team led by CEO Tom Parsons and NEC Co-Chair Maria Kinsella outlined the services provided to players with a focus on Welfare, Development and Equality.

In their boots

Stemming from research carried out by Westmeath hurler and GPA Digital Marketing Manager Tommy Doyle as part of his masters, the GPA teamed up with the GAA’s Communications Department to produce content highlighting the social media abuse that players and officials can be subjected to because of their on-field performance. The #InTheirBoots video encouraged respect and understanding when posting on social channels after games.


Recognising the heroes of the past is something that is very important to the GPA. The players of today are just building on the legacy handed down by those players who have gone before them. Ahead of the All-Ireland Hurling and Football Finals two GPA Legends Lunches were held. At the hurling/camogie event Antrim great Eddie Donnelly and Cork legend Sandie Fitzgibbon were the individuals honoured. At the football event Dublin’s Mickey Whelan and Waterford’s Marie Crotty picked up the Lifetime Achievement accolades.

Africa development

For the second year in a row, the GPA Partnered with Warriors for Humanity, founded by Galway’s Alan Kerins, to raise much needed funds and also awareness of the problems caused by climate change in the East African country of Kenya. 50 players raised hundreds of thousands of euro as part of the project which supported the work of Self Help Africa, a long term partner of the GPA.

Jack & Jill

The GPA’s Official Charity Partner for 2023 was Jack and Jill. Jack and Jill is a nationwide charity providing in-home nursing care and respite support for children up to the age of 6 with severe to profound cognitive delay. This may include children with brain injury, genetic diagnosis, cerebral palsy, and undiagnosed conditions. Another key part of the service is end-of-life care for all children up to the age of 6, irrespective of diagnosis. The Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation offers a child and family centred care service and believes that families should be supported to care for their children in their own homes.

Women’s World Cup

In 2017 the Ireland women’s soccer team took a stand that has had a massive impact on the culture of women’s sport in this country. They were no longer willing to accept second best in terms of the conditions in which they were expected to operate. Subsequently they reached the 2023 World Cup, showing that when the right environment is created and funded, Ireland’s women can compete against the very best. The GPA joined with our colleagues in Rugby Players Ireland to celebrate their journey.

Congratulations to the Champions


glen dimplex
Glen dimplex
Glen dimplex


Allianz league
division 1
Allianz league
division 2a
Allianz league
division 2b
Allianz league
division 3a
Allianz league
division 3b

Football (WOMEN)

TG4 senior
TG4 intermediate
TG4 junior
division 1
division 2
division 3
division 4

Football (MEN)

division 1
division 2
division 3
division four


2023 was a very busy and eventful year for our Player Development Team, the annual report outlines the significant progress and achievements in terms of promoting and nurturing the personal development of inter-county players, across the codes of Hurling, Camogie and Gaelic Football, to help them strive to be the best they can be off-the-field. Key highlights include a series of well-attended events, programmes, and workshops that provided comprehensive skill development, improvements to self-awareness and personal growth opportunities for participants. These initiatives emphasised and highlighted the fundamental transferrable skills that inter-county players possess, as people, in terms of leadership, teamwork, communication, and resilience. The Player Development Programme also witnessed the successful implementation of new networking events, college/university visits and additional supports and services available for players.

A standout achievement was the initiation and roll-out of the GAA/GPA/Movember Ahead of the Game (AOTG) mental health literacy programme. Through the process of evidence-based research and detailed programme planning this new initiative will bring workshops to a large number of GAA Healthy Clubs throughout the island of Ireland to raise awareness surrounding the important topic of mental health and well-being. Looking ahead, we want to generate a greater awareness of the GPA’s Player Development Programme, BEO360, and continue to expand its reach and impact across our membership, therefore further engaging with male and female inter-county players, both current and former. Another key aim is to further develop partnerships and relationships with key stakeholders such as other Player Associations, Inter-county management teams, and 3rd level institutions. There also are exciting plans in the pipeline to introduce new initiatives and enhance existing resources to build on this year’s successes and to continue to guide and mentor players effectively. We believe BEO360 is poised to play a crucial role in shaping and developing the future of Gaelic games players and empowering the next generation of leaders. You See Players, We See People.

Rookie Camp Series

175 players attended the ‘Rookie Camp Series’ in January & February 2023. 78 players in Thomond Park, Limerick and 97 players at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Dublin. The Rookie Camp is designed to help prepare new players, between the ages of 18-23, with their transition into adult inter-county Gaelic games. Workshops were delivered by industry experts on key topics related to Sports Psychology, Physical Recovery and Sports Nutrition. Also, current leading inter-county players took part in ‘A Day in the Life’ panel discussion to speak about their lived experiences and provided the Rookies with valuable advice and guidance.

Youth Leadership TY Conference

Hosted the 3rd online Youth Leadership Conference attended by 5000+ TY students across 32 counties. Leading inter-county athletes shared their leadership journeys with the students and gave top tips on how they can be leaders within their own schools and communities. Key workshops were delivered on topics such as unconscious bias and belonging, how to develop resilience and understand different coping tools, improving decision making and the power of giving back.


35 players attended the ‘Elite Leadership Conference’ in March 2023. This event was aimed at developing leadership skills and to help players to be the best version of themselves off-the-field. Key workshops focused on the skill of networking, how to develop communication skills and how to build self-awareness in order to be more adaptable in life.

Players at the Elite Leadership Conference


31 players attended the ‘GPA Business Forum’ in June 2023. This inaugural event was designed for players to come together to network across a variety of different business industries and platforms to develop successful working relationships and partnerships. Inter-county players are dual career athletes who are juggling their playing commitments and training demands while also trying to forge successful careers across many business sectors. Keynote speaker, Liam Sheedy, discussed his leadership styles he implements with teams in both sport and business and former inter-county players took part in a player panel discussion to give insights into the challenges of operating their own successful business.

A Talk at the GPA business forum

‘Beyond the Field’ Transition

12 players attended the ‘Beyond the Field Transition Programme’ in Kylemore Abbey, Co. Galway. This bespoke programme was designed to give former inter-county players the chance to acknowledge the huge commitments and dedication that they gave to their sporting careers. The intimate retreat afforded participants the opportunity to focus on the next chapter of their lives, away from their sport. Through the process of self-discovery the programme challenged each participant to explore their identity and help them to understand their sense of purpose, passions, and interests post-retirement from the intercounty game.

GPA Jim Madden Leadership
Programme 2023

25 players representing 20 counties completed and graduate from the Jim Madden Leadership Programme in 2023, following in the footsteps of hundreds of players who have taken part in the programme since its inception in 2015. The programme develops a group of inter-county players from Hurling, Camogie and Gaelic football with the necessary skills, motivation and experience to become real leaders in the community. The tailored programme sees students paired with a professional life coach with whom they work to address their individual development needs. Participants gain skills which they can draw on in their personal, sporting and professional lives. The programme has been made possible through the support of Michael Madden and his family who have dedicated this programme and curriculum to the memory of their late father Jim, who was a tireless grassroots GAA and community activist in Tipperary.

GPA Madden Graduation

2023 Graduates

Jane Adams (Antrim), Muireann Atkinson (Monaghan), Cillian Brennan (Clare), Geoff Brennan (Kilkenny), Lisa Burke (Westmeath), Lorraine Bray (Waterford), Grace Clifford (Kildare), Shane Cooney (Galway), Darragh Cummins (Sligo), Killian Daly (Westmeath), Michael Donoghue (Donegal), Seán Finn (Limerick), Lizzie Kent (Wexford), Aoife Lennon (Armagh), Laura Mahony (Laois), Conor McCann (Antrim), Karen McGrath (Waterford), Fiona McHale (Mayo), Conor Murray (Waterford), Bronagh O’Rourke (Leitrim), Mary Ryan (Tipperary), Muireann Scally (Westmeath), Gary Sice (Galway), Paddy Small (Dublin) and Conor Woods (Down).

Impact Sessions

14 players attended the ‘GPA/LinkedIn Impact Series’ at LinkedIn HQ in Dublin. This collaboration with LinkedIn was designed to help players maximise their career opportunities by learning how develop their professional brand and employability with industry experts. It provided players with an understanding of how to enhance transferable skills for effective branding on LinkedIn and guidance on how to climb the career ladder and develop better insights into what employers and recruiters are looking for.

GPA/linkedin impact sessions

GPA Student

GPA Player Development Managers hosted ‘Student Sessions’ with 40 players in 6 leading universities across Ireland in November 2023. The 3rd level institutions included Queens University (QUB), Ulster University (UU), St. Mary’s College (SMUCB), Dundalt IT (DkIT), ATU Sligo (ATUS) and University of Galway. Conversations with players were around topics such as CV development, interview preparation skills, future career planning and time management and to help them juggle the inter-county demands while also putting the time and effort required into their studies and education. Many thanks to all the colleges who supported this great initiative.

GPA Student Sessions

Movember Ahead of the Game Programme

Ahead Of The Game (AOTG) is an evidence-based Mental Health Literacy Programme that involves delivering mental health literacy workshops to young people, parents and coaches in GAA clubs. 22 GPA Members (current and former male and female inter-county players) were trained and employed by the GPA to deliver the programme in GAA clubs across the island of Ireland. The aim for the first year is to deliver the workshops in 200 GAA Healthy Clubs and reach 5000 young people, parents and coaches. The programme was launched in November 2023 when workshop delivery began.

GPA Members Lifting a large cartoon Mustache

Development in numbers

Enhanced Scholarships: 68
Student Scholarships: 898
Education and Training Fund: 208
Rookie Camp: 175
Jim Madden Leadership Programme: 25
Elite Leadership Conference: 35
Transition Programme: 12
GPA Business Forum: 31
GPA & LinkedIn Impact Series: 14
BEO360 Coaching Sessions: 1026
Counselling Service New Referrals: 125
No. of Counselling Sessions Scheduled in 2023: 714
LinkedIn Learning Users: 40
Benevolent Fund: 2
Communications Preparation: 49
Marketing and Business Consultancy: 15

TOTAL 2437


There have been a number of significant developments in terms of player welfare in 2023. Chief amongst those from our female members’ perspective is the recognition by the LGFA and Camogie Association that minimum standards of care are required and a commitment to provide these as part of a Player Charter going forward. There is much more about that elsewhere in this report. Here we will concentrate on areas which have seen a significant uplift in numbers during 2023 while also highlighting the UPMC Priority Access to Care Pathway, a very important development in providing timely access to medical support for our members.


Throughout the year there was a significant uplift in numbers availing of cardiac screening. This service is provided by AMS and is delivered on a squad-to-squad basis. In 2023, 752 individual players were screened, up by 22% on the previous 12 months. 47 of those required follow-up tests catered for by the GPA.


2023 saw a ramping up of the numbers undergoing concussion baseline testing. This was the first full year of the service following a pilot rolled out in 2022. 820 players took the test which was close to double the 2022 number. 14 players required specialist follow-up treatment.

UPMC Priority Access
to Care Pathway

The Gaelic Players Association and UPMC, the Official Healthcare Partner of the GAA/GPA, launched a Priority Access to Care Pathway for inter-county players in need of support across Ireland. Under the pathway, GPA members can gain priority access to diagnostic, physiotherapy, and orthopaedic services within the UPMC hospital network across the country. This support will increase speed of access to services while offering access to world class sports medicine, orthopaedic and medical services.

Past Player
Surgical Fund

The GPA regularly helps past players who have suffered significant injury connected to playing inter-county sport to draw down funding from the GAA to help with surgical interventions. In 2023 6 former players received financial assistance for surgery and high-level injury rehabilitation amounting to €29,055.60 in total.

Finance &


Revenue Sources

Government Grants


GAA Core Funding




Benevolent fund




Total Expenditure

Player Development Programmes/Player Welfare


Operating Costs


Direct Costs


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