‘It would be great to see it all as one’ – support for motion to integrate GAA, ladies football and camogie

MEATH ALL-IRELAND WINNING goalkeeper Monica McGuirk is “very much in favour of” the Gaelic Players’ Association [GPA] motion calling for integration between the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association.

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The GPA announced today that it had submitted a motion for consideration at GAA Congress on 26 February “urging the GAA to take proactive, meaningful and swift action to expediate integration with the LGFA and the Camogie Association”.

“It is inter-county players’ firmly held belief that for equality to be achieved within the Gaelic games family, integration of the three National Governing Bodies (NGBs) must be made a priority,” a statement continued.

“This can then in turn can have a major positive impact on wider Irish society. In recent research amongst our membership, 97% of all inter-county players backed integration between the three NGBs.”

The news broke when McGuirk and other ladies football stars were at the launch of the 2022 Lidl National Leagues in Newbridge.

“It’s not something that I personally think about too much but I do know the knock-on effect it has for all the players and clubs, the Gaelic and the hurling and camogie and everything,” the 2019 and 2021 All-Star told The42.

“I would be very much in favour of it. I do hope it goes in the right direction and does see through to be able to be one unit, which would be great. It will be interesting to see how it goes now and the end of the month.

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“It would be great to see it all as just one. You see the publicity the women’s [game] is getting now. At the moment, the women’s [team] is kind of outshining the men in Meath football. That’s not through fault of anybody’s. I do think we have different levels in terms of the men and women; the Cork ladies dominated for how many years compared to the men, Dublin have been on par with each other in terms of where they’ve got.

“I do think it’s a step in the right direction and hopefully it keeps going that way.”

A monumental vote to merge the Women’s Gaelic Players Association [WGPA] and its male equivalent in the GPA was held in December 2020, with many players hailing it as such.

“I think it’s a huge step forward for us. I can only see positives coming from it,” Cork star Doireann O’Sullivan said at the time, believing the merger into a single 4,000-member representative for inter-county players may pave the way for amalgamation at a higher level.

McGuirk would certainly be in support of all coming under the one umbrella with joined-up thinking in place.

GPA motion calls for integration between the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association.#Equalityhttps://t.co/X8FB6xntZb

— GPA (@gaelicplayers) February 8, 2022

Speaking about the motion earlier today GPA CEO and former Mayo footballer, Tom Parsons noted:

“The spirit of this motion is about action for gender equality in sport and bringing the Gaelic family together. 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 co-operation.  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.

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“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’.”

“In recent times we have seen the overwhelming decision by players to merge the WGPA and GPA and since that decision the government has backed equality with the announcement of equal investment and recognition for players,” the GPA’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager and Tyrone All-Ireland winner Gemma Begley added.

“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.”

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