Support scheme boost for GPA

GPA chief executive Dessie Farrell has identified stability as the key benefit of the updated support scheme for inter-county GAA players.

Following months of negotiations between the GPA, the Irish Sports Council and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring, it was announced yesterday that €900,000 would be set aside for grants for both this year and next year.

The ISC will provide the money in grant-aid to the GAA, who, in conjunction with the GPA, will then decide on how best to disperse it.

“Absolutely, we’re very happy,” he said. “It was important to get that element of stability and security with it, in that previously the money was coming from different sources, it was never a line item in anybody’s budget.”

While the amount at the disposal of the GPA is less than in the past, securing a commitment of any kind, and allowing for future planning, has to be seen as the important thing in Farrell’s view: “We hadn’t even been sure about 2012, but that has been boxed off too, and we can look forward.”

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