Inter-county player funding to more than double over next three years

Dessie Farrell
Dessie Farrell helped negotiate the new deal in one of his final acts as GPA chief executive

Inter-county GAA players will receive a total funding of 6.9m Euro from Sport Ireland over the next three years, it was announced on Wednesday.

The scheme, which will be administered by the GAA in conjunction with the GPA, will see a significant increase from the current annual 900,000 Euro grants.

1.6m Euro will be provided to players in 2017 which will rise to 2.3m in 2018 and 3m in 2019.

Most players got grants in the region of 300 to 750 Euro in recent years.

That figure sometimes increased to four figures for players involved in teams who progressed to the later stages of the championship.

Outing GPA chief executive Dessie Farrell said the increased grants would enable GAA players to increase their "role model status".

"This new arrangement will facilitate the development of an important programme between government and players in tackling some of the more intractable societal challenges in Ireland today," added Farrell.

"Players look forward to taking an even more prominent role in making a meaningful difference, particularly, in the lives our young people across the country."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the funding agreement provided "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," added the Irish Prime Minister.

"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."

Farrell helped negotiate the new deal in one of his final acts before stepping down from his GPA role.