At GAA Congress 2022, An tUachtarán CLG, Larry McCarthy, used the most significant day of the non-games GAA calendar to reflect on the murder of Ashling Murphy.
An tUachtarán remarked on the grace with which the Murphy family have borne such a horrifying experience while also praising the resilience and support demonstrated by Ashling’s camogie club Kilcormac Killoughey in the aftermath of her death. Since the tragedy, many members have reached out asking that the Association lend its voice to the conversations that were happening across Ireland.
One email struck a particular chord with the President. It highlighted the gratitude a mother felt when her son’s coach took a minute after training to speak to the 37 young men on his U17 development squad about the importance of always demonstrating respect for women and girls. When she picked him up after the session, her son relayed the message to his mother, thereby continuing the important conversation and demonstrating the impact the talk had on the young man.
It was suggested by this GAA member to An tUachtarán that were all GAA coaches to take ‘Just a Minute’ and have a similar conversation with their players the impact could be considerable.
An tUachtarán is therefore encouraging all coaches across the Association at your training session to ask your squad of players to demonstrate respect towards women, and to be leaders amongst their peers by calling out any disrespectful behaviour or language towards women or girls that they come across.
Any such conversation will reinforce the values of the GAA’s long-standing ‘Give Respect, Get Respect’ campaign which aims to promote positive behaviour and ensure that Gaelic Games is an enriching environment for all involved. It encourages and promotes respect both on and off field by coaches, parents, spectators, players, referees, match officials, and anyone else who is involved in the Gaelic Games family