GPA happy with reduced Government grant amount
The Gaelic Players' Association has welcomed the retention of the grants system that inter-county players have benefited from since 2008. The scheme will now remain in place until the end of 2014 at least.
A reduction of 10pc, down to €900,000, has been agreed, but the principle of financially recognising the inter-county player has been retained – something the GPA have fought hard for over a long period of time.
Down from €3.5m at their peak at the outset, the 'annual team performance' and 'annual support schemes' as they are known, will still leave all inter-county players with between €400 and €600 each over the next two years.
A GPA statement said the agreement had been reviewed by the Irish Sports Council and it was "agreed by all parties that while the principles of the schemes remain, it was an appropriate time to alter some logistical elements."
The statement added: "In particular, the contribution players make to national and local initiatives is welcomed, as is their continued commitment to working with Government."
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring welcomed the agreement and said he "accepted the principle" of what it was about.
The original grants scheme was drawn up for a three-year period, but the money involved has been cut significantly since.
Since then, the GPA has been formally recognised by the GAA and agreed a funding deal with the association two years ago for over €8.5m over a five-year period.
Meanwhile, Waterford GAA is in mourning this week following the death, after a very short illness, of legendary local journalist and former county board chairman John A Murphy, who was given the lifetime achievement award in 2011 by the Gaelic Writers' Association.