Former Tyrone star Gemma Begley believes that everyone involved in Gaelic Games can do their part in pushing for equality – whether the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Associations remain separate organisations or not.
Last year the WGPA commissioned a survey of 535 players which revealed that they receive less than a quarter of the government funding than men, and that 93% of female players at intercounty level receive no travel expenses at all, with the cost of fuel averaging 55euros per week.
The Gaelic Players Association and Women’s Gaelic Players Association passed near-unanimous votes at their recent AGMs to merge into one 4000-strong players’ body.
So with that backdrop, Niall Gartland conducted a Q and A with the WGPA executive member and Carrickmore native to garner her thoughts about the new arrangement.
Niall Gartland: The first thing I was wondering is what impact this merger will have on your own job?
Gemma Begley: We’re figuring that out – there’s an interim period before the first AGM of the new association so there’ll be a four or five-month period of figuring out how things will work. I’ll still be there – I’m not going anywhere and that’s the main thing.
NG: The merger has been in the pipeline for quite a while now. Have you been supportive of the general idea since it was first mooted?
GB: It was a couple of years in the making. Our members passed a motion in early 2019 to formalise a partnership, so there’s been a lot of planning involved, talking to members and looking at structures. We’re happy to get it over the line and it’s great that we got a vote of confidence from the members at the AGM. It was a mixture of relief and excitement. It’s not a magic wand that’s going to fix everything overnight, but it’s a good first step and a great endorsement in the idea of working together.
FULL STORY IN LAST WEEK’S PAPER