The announcement was made at Croke Park on Wednesday
The Department of Tourism, Transport and Sport have announced a new three-year agreement for the continued support of Gaelic men’s inter-county players.
The new agreement will see a total of €6.9 million provided over the next three years to support Gaelic inter-county footballers and hurlers. As with previous agreements, Sport Ireland will provide the funding to the GAA who will then work with the Gaelic Players Association for the appropriate disbursement of the money to the players. Funding of €1.6 million will be provided in 2017 increasing to €2.3 million in 2018 and €3 million in 2019.
Speaking at the announcement in Croke Park, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said, “The agreement provides continued recognition for the contribution of Gaelic inter-county players to the economic and social fabric of the nation. Our inter-county players showcase the skill, excellence and commitment of our national games at home and abroad. They train hard to become the best they can be, in order to do their county, their town or their parish proud."
"As well as promoting increased levels of physical activity, our Gaelic players can act as important role models in a number of other key policy areas at local and national level. These include the promotion of mental health wellbeing, the fight against obesity and the prevention of alcohol and drugs misuse. I look forward to the continued support of our inter-county footballers and hurlers in these and other areas and as role models which young people can emulate."
Seamus Hickey, GPA Chairman stated, "This new agreement with Government is important for players as it once again recognises the vital economic and social contribution made by county players. It reinforces the principle of parity for county players with other high performance athletes and professional sportspeople supported through State sponsored schemes. It also provides a level of practical support to many players who are under financial pressure across the spectrum; from young students juggling their significant sporting and academic commitments to the more experienced players with young families to care for, mortgages and bills to pay while operating and performing at the highest levels in Irish sport."
The funding will be introduced next month, for all male inter-county players over both codes.