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Critical Incident Response Plan

What is a critical incident?

A critical incident is defined as a situation that overwhelms one’s natural capacity to respond. These are as broad and varied in their nature as any situation that can befall any individual, club, or community.

Behind the critical Incident Resource Plan

Leading experts have highlighted the importance of the GAA’s contribution to community based-responses in times of critical incidents and traumatic events. This fact was highlighted when An Uachtarán CLG, Aogán Ó Fearghail, launched the Association’s Critical Incident Response Plan in Croke Park on Wednesday, July 1 2015. Each year the Community & Health team in Croke Park receives between 30-40 requests from clubs and counties for support in responding to a ‘critical incident’

Speaking at the launch, An tUachtarán said: “When challenging times arise, as they inevitably do from time to time, GAA members and units all over the world rally to support those affected, be they friends or strangers. This is when the GAA really comes into its own. However, some extreme situations can overwhelm a club’s natural capacity to respond. We hope this new resource will support our units in such times by reassuring them and offering them a template and roadmap to follow.”

Identify and access the range of national and local support services that are available to them in such circumstances Leading consultant child and adolescent psychologist, Dr Brendan Doody, a member of the GAA’s National Health & Wellbeing Committee, helped facilitate the process. He highlights the important role the Association plays at community level. “GAA clubs and counties have developed an innate role in playing an integral part of many community-based responses following a critical incident. This helps maintain and sustain a community’s capacity to respond to even the most challenging of events.

We hope this resource provides a framework and clear guidelines to support GAA units at every level in that continued work but also to reassure them that they are only one element of any community-based response, and that other services and supports are there to assist them too.” All units are encouraged to download and adopt this resource to suit their own needs.

Development process

The resource – A Guide for all GAA Units and Members when Responding to a Critical Incident – was developed in conjunction with a number of leading experts in the field, the GAA’s National Health & Wellbeing Committee, and a number of clubs and counties that have experienced critical incidents in recent years. The aim of the guide is to help GAA units at all levels to:

  • Better understand what a critical incident is
  • Develop and maintain their own critical incident response plan
  • Follow recommended practices when supporting community responses to critical incidents to the best of their capacity
  • Ensure a consistency of care for all members following an incident regardless of the situation/location  

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