Tuesday 24 October 2017

Duffy puzzled by gender equality call over GPA deal

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

THE GAA has expressed puzzlement at claims that its €8.75m player welfare deal with the Gaelic Players' Association (GPA) could be in breach of equality legislation.

The Equality Authority has written to the GAA, informing them that the arrangement contravenes gender legislation on the basis that it applies to male-only players, thus excluding camogie and ladies football.

However, GAA director general Paraic Duffy said they were puzzled by the Equality Authority's view as camogie and ladies football were run by separate, autonomous bodies.

"Under our rules, the GAA has control of hurling, Gaelic football, handball and rounders but not camogie or ladies football, which are organised by their own associations. We support them as best we can, but they remain separate.

"Our deal is with the GPA, which caters for inter-county hurlers and footballers, so we're at a loss to understand how we would be contravening any legislation," Duffy said.

The Equality Authority pointed out that, "as the GPA is confined to male players, there may be a risk that this scheme is contravening the spirit and maybe even the letter of the equality legislation."

Croke Park insists that since the camogie and ladies football associations are totally separate entities, they are not included in any deal worked out between the GPA and the GAA.

Under the GAA-GPA deal, which was sealed last February, the GAA will allocate a total of €8.75m over five years to the players' group for welfare-related issues, education programmes and various other initiatives.

What the GAA rules say:

"The Association shall promote and control the national games of hurling, Gaelic football, handball and rounders, and such other games as may be sanctioned and approved by Annual Congress."

One of the GAA's four stated additional aims is: "The Association shall support the promotion of camogie and ladies Gaelic football."

Irish Independent

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