GAA director-general Tom Ryan has called the GPA’s stance on last summer’s United For Equality protests, which were in aid of securing charters for LGFA and camogie players, “disappointing” in his annual report.
The document, which was released yesterday, details Ryan’s opinions on the prolonged United For Equality protests, in particular instance such as the donning of a #UnitedForEquality banner prior to the men’s Kerry versus Derry All-Ireland semi final.
Great to see both Derry and Kerry take their team photo with the United for Equality sign. A very simple piece of good PR that’ll start a conversation
— Joanne O’ Riordan (@JoanneOR_Ox) July 16, 2023
"I respect completely - indeed the responsibility - of the GPA to advocate for all of its members, including women playing inter-county football and camogie,” Ryan said, continuing that he does “fervently” believe that “the future of Gaelic games lies in a single organisation governing all of our codes.”
"However, it was disappointing to see during the year that player welfare for female players was allowed to be conflated with the responsibilities of the GAA and that the GPA chose to stage protests at some of our games to seek to influence the Ladies Associations with regards to charters for their codes,” he added.
Ryan then goes on to reiterate how the three organisations are not yet under one banner, despite the ongoing talks of integration, even suggesting that such actions could have perhaps impacted that process.
🛑Enough is enough, our women's GAA players deserve better.
🏐🏑Amid this championship season, we talked about issues that they continue to face; including fixture clashes, lack of visibility and the need for more dialogue.
📺Watch the FULL here⬇️https://t.co/zKn12xaBsc pic.twitter.com/TfGyXJ8gbW
— Her Sport (@HerSportDotIE) November 15, 2023
"Rightly or wrongly, the GAA in 2024 does not govern ladies football and camogie. We do, of course, strive to maintain good relations with all parties and to be a positive influence where possible, but the ultimate responsibility in these matters is not ours,” he said.
"A single organisation will in time emerge, but until then it does a disservice to both of our sister organisations to seek to usurp them and involve the GAA in their issues.
"My fears here are for the integration process itself and I hope that unwitting damage has not been done to that project. We need to make sure that momentum towards integration is not undermined."
Elsewhere in the report, he also goes on to talk about the “long” integration process itself, supplementing that a timeline is to be revealed later this month.
“I appreciate that this process may seem elusive while the finer details are worked through behind the scenes, but it is imperative that this project be given the space, consideration and time to advance,” he said.
🏐🏑Former president of Ireland Mary McAleese details how the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association integration talks are progressing, explaining how there could be a key turning point next February.
👇Check out the full story here👇https://t.co/wh0XEl66p3
— Her Sport (@HerSportDotIE) September 18, 2023