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How it all evolved


The Gaelic Players Association is formed after a meeting in Belfast.


The GPA appoints former chairman Dessie Farrell (above) as its first full-time CEO. Donal O'Neill becomes commercial director, and Carphone Warehouse are sponsors. Cork hurlers go on strike over welfare demands and succeed on almost every point.


Sean Kelly takes over as GAA president and sets about creating greater harmony with the GPA. Inter-county players are balloted on who should replace Jarlath Burns as their Central Council rep and Farrell wins uncontested.


The GPA makes first moves on exchequer-funded welfare grants.


Strike action is threatened just before Nickey Brennan takes over as GAA president because of perceived lack of interest on the grants issue.


Paraic Duffy (above) is appointed the first full-time player welfare officer in Croke Park.


The GPA demands a 5pc take in revenues and, in early July, withdraws members from conducting interviews with broadcasting partners. Interim agreement is reached in December.


A 'Recognition Protocol' that covers a five-year agreement between the GAA and GPA is unveiled worth some €8.75m in funding.

Irish Independent