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'Big boys do cry' says GAA boss as strides made to tackle male suicide rates

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Minister for Health Leo Varadkar TD, An Uachtaran Cumann Luthcleas Gael Liam O'Neill and Bill Kyle Chief Executive of Irish Life at the launch in Croke Park of Irish Life's €1 Million investment in the GAA Healthy Club Initiative

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar TD, An Uachtaran Cumann Luthcleas Gael Liam O'Neill and Bill Kyle Chief Executive of Irish Life at the launch in Croke Park of Irish Life's €1 Million investment in the GAA Healthy Club Initiative

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar TD, An Uachtaran Cumann Luthcleas Gael Liam O'Neill and Bill Kyle Chief Executive of Irish Life at the launch in Croke Park of Irish Life's €1 Million investment in the GAA Healthy Club Initiative

GAA President Liam O'Neill has said that a "big boys don't cry" attitude that pervades much of the organisation at grassroots and senior level is storing up a raft of mental health problems for the future.

Mr O'Neill said players have been conditioned from an early age "not to show their emotions" and warned over-zealous coaches not to keep shouting at young players over their performance.

He wants the GAA to act as an "agent for change" as part of a new effort to stem the tide of male suicide

"There is no point in coaches shouting at a player because a mistake has been made," he said. "We have to build up boys' self-esteem if we are to change what they become as adults."

Mr O'Neill was speaking alongside Health Minister Leo Varadkar at the launch of a programme to boost the well-being of players.

hnews@herald.ie


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