Posted: 5 months ago

Confirmed: camogie, women’s football and GAA will amalgamate in 2027

THE Camogie Association, the GAA and the LGFA have today revealed 2027 as the proposed date for their plans for full integration between the three organisations. 

Over the past 18 months the views of members and officials across all three associations have been sought and following detailed discussions in the period since, 2027 has been earmarked as the proposed date for completion of the process. 

The Steering Group for Integration, chaired by former Uachtarán na hÉireann Mary McAleese, has been charged with devising proposals which will be put to the membership of the three organisations with a view to full integration. 

In the coming weeks the Annual Congresses of the three bodies will be updated on the work of the last year and a half and plans for the next 36 months. With detailed feedback gained from the extensive listening process which amongst other elements involved 30,000 respondents to Ireland’s largest ever survey, cross-organisational working groups, representing both staff and the volunteer base of the organisations, were established in November of 2023. 

Tasked with addressing areas highlighted throughout the listening process such as Facilities, Finance, Fixtures, Human Resources, Membership and Player Welfare, these groups worked through the finer details and considerations of how each of these areas could operate in an integrated organisation. 

Proposals from these working groups, coupled with feedback from the consultative process with county boards, provincial councils, player representatives, staff and members provided the basis on which the pathway to Integration has been developed. Among these proposals there were specific recommendations around alignment of membership, the development of models to facilitate facility management and opportunities to review fixtures throughout 2024.

Iar-Uachtaráin na hÉireann, Mary McAleese, Chair of the Steering Group on Integration, said: “The Steering Group on Integration, after 18 months of intense listening and discussion, has now a recommended pathway to what will be the most historic development in Gaelic games and that is One Association for all of Gaelic games by 2027. 

“Gaelic games are about to enter a new era. We are now at a point where the will of the members of the Gaelic Games Associations on integration can be delivered if our recommendations are followed and acted upon and made real.” 

Camogie Association President Hilda Breslin said: “Today marks a significant milestone for the Camogie Association, signifying a thrilling new chapter in our journey. Today is filled with excitement as we embark on a path of progress, merging to become one club, one county, one province, one congress, one association. This momentous step towards unity, equality and inclusivity is a testament to our shared goal of creating an environment that champions excellence and supports the holistic development of our players.

“Our vision is to foster the growth of Gaelic games and contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland. Central to the realisation of this vision is our dedicated volunteer network, the backbone of our association. Their passion and commitment drive us forward, making this not just an association but a collective endeavour that belongs to each and every one of them. It is their combined efforts that will propel us to our 2027 goal. 

“This is more than just an organisational shift. Together, we are actively recognising the vital role of women in sport, emphasising inclusivity, progress, and the collective strength of our association.”

Uachtarán CLG Larry McCarthy said: “One of the biggest ever sports surveys of its kind, with more than 30,000 responses, produced an overwhelming majority in favour of integration. 

“That gave the SGI the mandate to make the dream of One Association a reality. We now have a roadmap to deliver an exciting future for all three Associations that will benefit all of our players, our clubs and the communities they represent. 

“Working together, these proposals represent a new dawn for Gaelic games, and we will be committed to its development and its success. I’d like to thank Mary McAleese for her stewardship of the SGI and look forward to presenting details of this proposal to our respective congress gatherings in the coming weeks.” 

Mícheál Naughton, LGFA President said: “We have come a long way since the formation of the LGFA in 1974 and as we prepare to celebrate our 50th anniversary in July, it’s time now to embrace the next chapter in the development of our game.

“We are rightly proud of our progress and, as a strong and vibrant sport, Ladies Gaelic Football will only be strengthened and enhanced through integration. I have been proud to work on the Steering Group on Integration and our work will continue as we move forward with renewed purpose and focus.” 

Members of the three organisations can expect to see progress across the following areas in the three-year window ahead:

* Joint Fixtures Review Workgroup

* A detailed audit of existing facilities 

* Facilities Equal access policy implementation

* National Childrens Office

* Updated One Club Guidance and Support and significant adoption of this model

* One Membership 

* One Injury benefit fund 

* One Staffing structure