CLG Mhuineacháin - Official Monaghan GAA Website

Volunteer Contribution essential to the local Economy

April 4th, 2012


Ulster GAA has held its second annual Good Relations Forum which focused on the social and economic impacts of volunteering.  The half-day conference was held in the Torrent Complex in Donaghmore which was a symbolic venue as it helped emphasis the importance of community and volunteerism in creating and maintaining community facilities and infrastructure.


The conference ‘The Social and Economic Impact of Volunteering’ was attended by a wide range of people representing government, local government, statutory and voluntary organisations.  Many of those in attendance were from non-GAA backgrounds.


Ulster GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghail opened the conference which included an impressive range of speakers including: Seamus McAleavey (NICVA), Dr Davy Hasson (University of Ulster), Denise Hayward (Volunteer Now), Kevin Murphy (Voluntary Arts Ireland), Earl Storey (Church of Ireland), Ryan Feeney (Ulster GAA) and Mark Conway (Kildress GAA).


Speaking at the event Ulster GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghail said, “Volunteerism is one of Ireland’s greatest resources and yet its importance is often overlooked.  In the GAA in Ulster alone there are a quarter of a million volunteers, who give of their time freely within their clubs and counties.  These volunteers not only contribute to promoting Gaelic Games in their communities but they also help to improve health and wellbeing, improve community relations and community development, provide facilities and infrastructure which make their communities better places to live.  In some communities, GAA volunteers do more than Government could ever hope to achieve.


“We are very proud that GAA volunteers make a meaningful contribution to their communities and we believe it is important that Government recognises the impact volunteerism has on social and economic impact, and that’s not just GAA volunteerism, its volunteerism from all organisations especially through sport, arts and church.”


“Ulster GAA is delighted to have benefited from a joint project by the Department of Social Development and the Department of Community and Environment which brought together leading cross border volunteer-led organisations including: Ulster GAA, Church of Ireland, Voluntary Arts Ireland and City Church.  This project has resulted in the development of many strong community and volunteering projects which will have a lasting impact on all of these organisations.”


The conference explored the important social and economic benefits of volunteering, particular within the GAA, including:


  • Since 2005 there has been a £70 million investment in GAA facilities across Ulster, this has resulted in approximately 800 construction jobs across the province
  • Structured-giving raises over £2 million per year for Ulster counties and approx £10 million a year for clubs across Ulster
  • GAA Games and events are worth over £10 million a year to the local economy
  • Croke Park stadium is worth €100 million to the Irish economy
  • Current GAA developments in Centre’s of Excellence at Garvaghy Tyrone’s, Owenbeg in Derry, and Casement Park in Belfast – will create jobs, investment for local communities, provide state-of-art community facilities
  • Casement Park Project will be a £80million investment for Belfast which should provide over 1000 medium-term jobs, it will be a economic driver for Belfast and Ulster as an iconic regeneration project


Our Sponsors