Two of Ireland's top GAA stars were today appointed Ambassadors for the international children's organisation UNICEF Ireland.
Galway hurler Joe Canning and Kildare footballer Dermot Earley were unveiled as UNICEF Ireland Ambassadors when the Gaelic Players Association formally announced UNICEF Ireland as one of their dedicated charity partners for 2010/2011.
Through this partnership, the GPA will work closely with UNICEF Ireland to draw attention to the plight of disadvantaged children throughout the world. Earlier this year, the GPA donated €10,000 from its sponsorship revenues to UNICEF Ireland to assist with their Emergency Appeal for the children of Haiti.
Canning and Earley will be supporting UNICEF Ireland's "Euro for Zero" campaign which will run for two weeks in late October. It is also hoped that both players will undertake a UNICEF field visit in the coming months to see for themselves UNICEF's work for children.
Speaking at the launch of the partnership, UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Melanie Verwoerd said that UNICEF Ireland was delighted to be announcing this special sporting partnership today.
"We have met with Dessie (Farrell), Joe and Dermot and are very grateful for the time and commitment that they have shown to UNICEF Ireland," she said.
"We look forward to working closely with them in the coming months to harness the power and popularity of Gaelic football and hurling across Ireland as well as the national influence of the Gaelic Players Association to improve the lives of children around the world."
Chief Executive of the Gaelic Players Association, Dessie Farrell, also spoke at the launch. He said: "The GPA is delighted to be in a position to assist in a small way with the wonderful work being carried out by UNICEF.
"When we announced to our own members that UNICEF was to become one of our dedicated charities earlier in the year, we had an incredible response with players offering to get involved and help out.
"And when Joe and Dermot were approached about working as ambassadors, they agreed without hesitation which reflects the level of interest and support that exists among players for charities such as UNICEF."
UNICEF Ireland's first "Euro for Zero" campaign will take place from October 24 to November 7. Its goal is to raise over €1,000,000 in two weeks simply by getting every adult in Ireland to donate €1 each.
For more information, visit www.unicef.ie.