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About Us

About the GPA

The GPA is the representative body for high performance inter-county players. Founded by players in 1999, and strengthened by a merger with the Women’s Gaelic Players Association in 2020, the GPA supports over 4,000 current male and female inter-county players and a growing number of former players across the four core pillars of Player Representation, Player Welfare, Player Development and Equality. The GPA is dedicated to investing in a better and more sustainable future for county players and provide services and support in the areas of Career Development, Education, Life Focus and Health and Wellbeing.

Our Purpose

We support players throughout their careers and post career under three key pillars:

    1. Represent the interests of all our players
    2. Protect their welfare on/off the pitch
    3. Support their development as people
    4. Equality

Our Vision

To create an environment that upholds the brilliance of our inter-county players and games. Allowing Gaelic players to excel as high performing athletes on the pitch and in their lives off the pitch. Unprejudiced by team, tier, gender, or sport.

Our Mission

To balance the huge demands placed on players with the opportunities, support and investment required for them to be at their best, on and off the pitch.

Our Values

WE ARE LEADERS.

WE ARE CARING.

WE ARE AMBITIOUS.

WE ARE INNOVATORS.

Publications

NATIONAL EXECUTIVE
COMMITTEE

Donal Óg Cusack
Philip Greene
Ciarán Kilkenny

Matthew O’Hanlon

Co-Chair NEC

County: Wexford

Code: Hurling 

Sporting career: Represented Wexford at various levels in Hurling and Football. Captain of the Wexford Hurling team

Professional career: Currently a Sales and Marketing Professional

 

Maria Kinsella

Co-Chair NEC

County: Carlow

Code: Football

Dónal Óg Cusack

County: Cork

Code: Hurling

Bio: Dóal is the former Chairperson of the GPA. He is also an Irish hurling coach, TV hurling analyst with the Sunday Game and a former player. Donal Óg is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers to play the game of Hurling, winning honours at all levels of the sport.

Cited as one of the most influential Irish Sports People of his generation, through his championing the cause of player welfare with Cork, founding the Gaelic Players Association along with his innovation as a goalkeeper and hurler.

He is a Senior Engineering Manager for the American Multinational Johnson & Johnson who he has worked with for other fifteen years.

Aoife Murray

County: Cork

Code: Camogie

Podge Collins

County: Clare

Code: Dual Player

 

Niamh Collins

County: Dublin

Code: Football

 

Naos Connaughton

County: Roscommon

Code: Hurling

Philip Greene

County: Sligo

Code: Football

Sporting career: Played with Sligo for 11 seasons, winning 1 Connacht title and 2 National Leagues.

Professional career: Head of Aircraft Leasing at HSBC

Ciarán Kilkenny

County: Dublin

Code: Football

Neil McManus

County: Antrim

Code: Hurling

Chloe Morey

County: Clare

Code: Camogie

Niall Morgan

County: Tyrone

Code: Football

Kate McKay

County: Down

Code: Football

Michael Murphy

County: Donegal

Code: Football

Mickey Quinn

County: Longford

Code: Football

Lorraine Ryan

County: Galway

Code: Camogie

Board

Philip Greene
Donal Óg Cusack

Brian MacCraith

Chair of the GPA Board of Directors

Bio: Brian recently finished a very successful 10-year term (July 2010 to July 2020) as President of Dublin City University (DCU), where, among a broad range of initiatives, he actively supported the development and growth of the sport with a particular emphasis on Gaelic games.

During this time, DCU developed significantly in terms of scale, footprint, and international reputation. It became Ireland’s fastest-growing university, rising to more than 18,250 students in 2020, and added three campuses (DCU St. Patrick’s Campus, DCU All Hallows Campus, and DCU Alpha, the university’s Innovation Campus) in the North Dublin region.

Brian placed a strong emphasis on equality, diversity and inclusion and developed several significant initiatives in this context.  He has also chaired many critical reviews on behalf of the Irish Government and has been a board member of IBEC, Chamber Choir Ireland and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland.

Maria Kinsella

Co-Chair NEC

County: Carlow

Code: Football

Matthew O’Hanlon

Co-Chair NEC

County: Wexford

Code: Hurling 

Sporting career: Represented Wexford at various levels in Hurling and Football. Captain of the Wexford Hurling team

Professional career: Currently a Sales and Marketing Professional

 

Aoife Murray

Secretary

County: Cork

Code: Camogie

Niamh Collins

County: Dublin

Code: Football

 

John Glennon

Bio: John Glennon is a founding and managing partner of RSM Ireland which is a Top 10 Accounting firm in Ireland and part of the 6th largest global accounting network in the world. John has considerable experience helping mid-market leaders develop strategies to grow their business. He has worked with many foreign owned clients in helping them develop localised strategies and business plans to drive local success while remaining integrated with the overall corporate global strategy. John is a member of the RSM European Leadership Team. John is also a Board Member of the German Irish Chamber of Commerce.

Philip Greene

County: Sligo

Code: Football

Sporting career: Played with Sligo for 11 seasons, winning 1 Connacht title and 2 National Leagues.

Professional career: Head of Aircraft Leasing at HSBC

Dónal Óg Cusack

President

County: Cork

Code: Hurling

Bio: Dóal is the former Chairperson of the GPA. He is also an Irish hurling coach, TV hurling analyst with the Sunday Game and a former player. Donal Óg is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers to play the game of Hurling, winning honours at all levels of the sport.

Cited as one of the most influential Irish Sports People of his generation, through his championing the cause of player welfare with Cork, founding the Gaelic Players Association along with his innovation as a goalkeeper and hurler.

He is a Senior Engineering Manager for the American Multinational Johnson & Johnson who he has worked with for other fifteen years.

Kate McKay

County: Down

Code: Football

Seán Murphy

GPA: Seán is a member of the GPA’s Board of Directors and Chairman of the Board sub-committee on Remuneration, People and Change. 
Seán has been a member of the National executive (NEC) since 2012. 

Professional Career: Seán joined Aer Lingus in 1991; he started his career in Ground Operations and has served in a number of senior roles in his time at Aer Lingus including, Cargo, Catering, InFlight Services, Human Resources and as a Board Member (2002-2006). His current role is Executive Director of HR & Dublin Airport Operations

Sporting Career: Seán was a Member of the Dublin County Football Management team (under 21’s) 2014-2017 and during that period the team won 4 Leinster and 2 All Irelands Titles.

Education: Irish Management Institute 
BA (Hons) Degree in Business Management
University of Michigan
Smurfit Business School

STAFF

Tom Parsons
Colm Begley
Tommy Doyle
Eamonn Murphy
Ian Reeves
Jennifer Rogers
Karen Thorpe

Tom Parsons

Where am I from: Charlestown, Co. Mayo

My Role: CEO

Ciarán Barr

Where am I from: Belfast, Co. Antrim

My Role: Head of Finance and Operations

What does it involve in a nutshell? Ensuring that the members of the GPA have access to the services they require in the areas of Welfare and Development. Also ensuring that the GPA manages its financial resources to allow it to fulfil its mission, in a way that is compliant with best practice governance standards in the voluntary sector.

Favourite part of my role: Looking forward to working for and on behalf of our members, and meeting lots of GAA and other sports people.

Favourite Sporting memory: Lots of great memories across Waterpolo, Football and Hurling. But here goes, playing Hurling in the Feile of 1977 in Waterford, as a 12 year old corner back for O’Donovan Rossa GAC Belfast. My big brother Dee was mid-field.

Colm Begley

Where am I from: Laois

My Role: Project Co-ordinator

What does it involve in a nutshell?

Enabling proactive member engagement with our current successful programmes and services, while also designing new exciting opportunities that will further develop and support our members.

Favourite part of my role: Helping fellow players get more back from the massive effort and commitment they give to their sport. I’m very passionate about providing our members with exciting opportunities to develop themselves off the field and realise their full potential. 

Favourite Sporting memory:

Winning the Laois County championship with Stradbally in 2016. Maurice Fitzgerald’s side-line point to draw the match in the 2001 Quarter Final, against Dublin, in Semple stadium. Outside of the boot perfection.

Tommy Doyle

Where am I from: Westmeath

My Role: Welfare and Communications officer

What does it involve in a nutshell? Actively engaging with GPA members across various communication channels, establishing all sides of our players’ welfare is looked after

Favourite part of my role: Getting to meet and talk to players from all counties, some players that you may never meet on the field of play

Favourite Sporting memory: The final whistle of the Leinster Football Final 2004, Winning National League title this year

Kieran McSweeney

Where am I from: Home: Dromahane / Club: Kilshannig / County: Cork

My Role: Head of Communications

What does it involve in a nutshell? My job is to ensure there is open and proactive communications with all parties who have an interest in the GPA but particularly with players.

Favourite part of my role: Finding new ways to help players tell their stories with purpose.

Favourite Sporting memory: Kilshannig winning the Cork Intermediate football title in 1988 and Cork’s Double in 1990.  Introducing Cork’s All-Ireland winning hurling team of 1986 as the 2011 Jubilee Hurling Team on All-Ireland final day at Croke Park.

Eamonn Murphy

Where am I from: Kildare

My Role: Player Representation Manager

What does it involve in a nutshell? Ensuring the voice of our members is heard and working to implement policies to protect their welfare on and off the field

Favourite part of my role: Observing the power of the collective player voice to impact positive change

Favourite Sporting memory: Kildare V Dublin Leinster final 2000/Man Utd winning Champions League 1999

Ian Reeves

Where am I from: Dublin           

My Role: Player Development Officer

What does it involve in a nutshell? Through my assessment of the players’ need, I identify an all-inclusive proposal to support the person behind the player through our Player Development Programmes

Favourite part of my role: Engaging & connecting with GPA members to support them off the field

Favourite Sporting memory: Sean Óg Ó hAilpín’s all Irish speech after the 2005 All Ireland Hurling Final

Jennifer Rogers

Where am I from: Westmeath

My Role: Project Co-Ordinator

What does it involve in a nutshell? Working across the areas of development, welfare and representation and developing ways to enhance and improve the services and supports the GPA provides to our members

Favourite part of my role: Having the opportunity to contribute to the development of relevant supports and services for players and seeing the difference this can have on their lives

Favourite Personal Sporting memory: Winning the Intermediate All-Ireland final with Westmeath Ladies in 2011 and winning the Intermediate Club All-Ireland with my club Milltown Ladies in 2015 – can’t pick between these two, both were equally amazing for different reasons!

Favourite Sporting memory: Nickie Quaid’s save in the 2018 Semi-Final against Cork to force extra-time – what a game!!

Karen Thorpe

Where am I from: Dublin

My Role: Events & Player Alumni Manager

What does it involve in a nutshell? Managing big GPA events and Player Alumni Networking & Services

Favourite part of my role: Reconnecting former team mates at the annual Former Players Event

Favourite Sporting memory: Stephen Cluxton’s free to win the All-Ireland for Dublin in 2011

National Engagement
Officers

Alan Kerins
Stephen McDonnell
Niall McNamee
Noel Connors

Alan Kerins

County: Galway

Code: Hurling/Football (former)

Stephen McDonnell

County: Cork

Code: Hurling

Niall McNamee

County: Offaly

Code: Football

Noel Connors 

County: Waterford

Code: Hurling

Aer-LingusAer-Lingus

Contact Us

Gaelic Players Association,
27 Northwood House,
Northwood Business Campus,
Santry, Dublin 9

Tel: +3531 8575686
Email: info@gaelicplayers.com

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