Saturday 24 February 2018

How it all evolved

1999

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

2002

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.

2003

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.

2004

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

2006

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

2007

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

2009

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.

2011

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

Irish Independent

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