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Discrimination’ in GPA Grants Issue

THERE has been a new twist in the ongoing GPA grants
saga after the Ladies Football Association said that any funding
exclusively for male GAA players would be discrimination against
women. Speaking at the TG4 O’Neill’s Ladies Football All
Stars tour in Singapore yesterday, Ladies Football President Geraldine
Giles said she believed both men and women would have to be treated
equally on the grants issue. The subject of equality between the
two genders throws yet another question into the debate over grants
for footballers and hurlers.

The GPA have called an Emergency General Meeting for April 1st
where they will vote on what their next step will be. They have
not ruled out the possibility of going on strike in their search
for government and Irish Sports Council grants for GAA players.

The Ladies Football Association have no official links with the
GPA at the moment and it’s not something which looks on the
cards either. However, the Ladies Football Association are closely
monitoring developments on the GPA’s search for government
and Irish Sports Council backed grants for GAA players.

Giles believes that, should the grants initiative ever get the
go ahead, it would need to have ladies footballers, camogie players
and other female amateur sports athletes incorporated because
if not then it would be discrimination. “It would be seen
to be that if the grants were solely for men. If it ever happened
then I don’t see a situation whereby grants could be given
just to men and not women,” she said. “This is not just
about ladies footballers either, but rather all amateur female
athletes in Ireland.” The most immediate concern for the
Ladies Football Association is the implementation of their coaching
and strategic plans. “We are more interested in our development
work at the moment, which is placing a big emphasis on newly appointed
tutors promoting the game to juveniles.”

The All Stars visited yet more schools in Singapore yesterday
where they coached local children in the skills of Gaelic Football.

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