8th September 2021
The GPA establish a new, gender-balanced Board of Directors
Players continue to lead the march towards equality within inter-county Gaelic games
The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) is proud to announce that the new, gender-balanced, Board of Directors of the association has been established. The new board is made up of six women and six men, including independent Chair, Professor Brian MacCraith, who will continue to steer the board.
The board comprises seven members of the GPA National Executive Committee (NEC). These are the four executive officers, Co-chairs Matthew O’Hanlon (Wexford) and Maria Kinsella (Carlow), Secretary Aoife Murray (Cork) and President Donal Óg Cusack (Cork), alongside fellow players Kate McKay (Down), Niamh Collins (Dublin) and Philip Greene (Sligo). They are joined by five independent directors; Professor Brian MacCraith (Chair), John Glennon, Seán Murphy, Patricia Gordon and Ailbhe Gilvarry.
This is the latest in a number of important steps that the GPA has taken since its merger with the Women’s Gaelic Player’s Association last December as we continue to work towards equality within Gaelic games. Indeed, the first of those steps was the inclusion of the pillar of Equality in the new GPA constitution.
That was followed by the election of a new NEC, which proportionally represents our membership which has a 60:40 male to female ratio. Within the NEC, an Equality Working Group has been formed to specifically look at how equality can be achieved. Players who have joined this sub-committee are Aoife Murray (Cork), Neil McManus (Antrim), Louise Galvin (Kerry), Sinéad Aherne (Dublin) and Donal Óg Cusack (Cork). An independent chair and other independent members of that sub-committee will be announced in the coming weeks.
Speaking on the establishment of the new gender-balanced GPA Board of Directors, the board chair, Professor Brian MacCraith, said; “The GPA stands for equality within Gaelic games and today’s announcement further reflects that commitment by giving an equal voice to both females and males at boardroom level. This move is another example of Gaelic players leading the way when it comes to the equality agenda. They voted for this as part of the merger process and players right across Ireland should be extremely proud of the leadership they are showing in this area.”
GPA NEC Co-Chair, Maria Kinsella, commented; “This is a very proud moment for the GPA. Last December, our members voted overwhelmingly to become one association. The merger of the GPA & WGPA was underpinned by the principle of equality. It is, therefore, very much a natural progression for the association to reflect the leadership shown by inter county players in our governance structures and board composition.”
GPA NEC Co-Chair, Matthew O’Hanlon, added; “This is about equality yes but it’s also about leadership. Players have made it clear to everyone involved in our games that the voices of males and females need to be recognised equally. We look forward to the day when a gender balanced board doesn’t even merit discussion; it should be a matter of course.”
With the addition of new board members, it does mean that others who have voluntarily given of their time in support of inter-county players have stepped down. On behalf of all our members, the GPA would like to recognise the work done by Brian Mulvihill, Seamus Hickey and Tom Parsons.
Tom stepped away from the board to allow him take up the position of GPA CEO. He stated; “In taking up the CEO role I was inspired by the leadership shown by players to unanimously merge associations and add equality as a core objective to our GPA constitution. I’m committed to serve our members to ensure equality is achieved for our players. The announcement of our gender balanced board is another step on that journey.”