The President of the GAA, Christy Cooney and the President of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), John Bryan addressed a unique joint seminar today in Croke Park. The seminar brings together two of Ireland’s leading organisations to tackle social isolation particularly in rural areas.
Following the successful piloting of the ‘GAA Social Initiative’ in Mayo, Fermanagh, Kerry and Wexford in 2009, the Initiative was relaunched in October 2010 as a club-based, island-wide project.
Today’s seminar covered how to expand the GAA Social Initiative and develop the integration of IFA volunteers into the Initiative structure.
Among those attending today’s seminar were members of the IFA who have long-established links with the GAA. They will be developing mutually-beneficial relationships with GAA clubs in their respective areas in the drive to expand the Initiative.
IFA President John Bryan welcomed former IFA officers to the seminar. He said, “the experience of the voluntary officers from the two organisations will be invaluable in driving the Social Initiative and building on the success that has been achieved in the last two years.”
GAA President Cooney said: “The GAA Social Initiative is being successfully implemented at present by 93 clubs. The social activities that have been organised by the clubs have been well received and much appreciated by the
participants in the Initiative and we are greatly encouraged by the impact they are making on their lives and on the community in general. ”
“The GAA is delighted to form this partnership with the IFA and exploit the volunteer ethos that is the hallmark of both organizations.”, he added.