Global Games Development Fund helps 450 projects in six years
By Áine Gibney
Since 2013 through the Global Games Development Fund, the GAA and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have provided financial support for development projects and initiatives in GAA Clubs and units across Asia, Australasia, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South America.
The fund provides financial support specifically for projects and initiatives that increase or improve opportunities for the Irish Diaspora and other communities abroad to play Gaelic Games. Through the provision of financial assistance, it is the aim of the Fund to support the Irish Diaspora and strengthen Irish networks and Irish identity internationally.
Over the past 6 years, more than 450 projects have received funding through the Global games Development Fund. The projects are varied and reflect the needs of the Irish Diaspora and GAA in particular areas or regions. Some projects have been one-off-events, others have activities lasting the course of a year. All applications have been inspirational and beneficial to the Clubs.
In 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the GAA and DFA having made their initial assessments in February revisited the application process which was due to the pandemic in each region. The awards for 112 International projects were collectively agreed upon by the GAA/DFA in mid-July and each International County Board/Club was notified of their success.
Uachtarán CLG John Horan said: "The global reach of the GAA and the popularity of Gaelic games with more than 400 clubs worldwide is a source of great pride to us.
Having been fortunate to see some of them in action I have witnessed at first hand how these clubs, just like GAA clubs in Ireland, are about so much more than the great sports we play and are also about building a community and offering a support for people.
We are very appreciative of the support we receive from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the work of the Global Games Development Fund at enabling us to offer assistance to the ongoing success story that is World GAA."
Colm Brophy, T.D., Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid & Diaspora said: “The Covid -19 global pandemic has had a profound impact on all our lives, whether we are based at home or abroad. Through the Emigrant Support Programme, my Department remains committed to supporting Irish communities abroad, and will continue to work in partnership with the GAA to maintain and develop our sporting networks and contribute to the viability of our communities worldwide.
"The current crisis has demonstrated the deep sense of connection that characterises our diaspora. I have been particularly impressed with GAA clubs from across the globe who I have met by Video Conference over the last number of months. Club after club throughout the world have inspired me with their selflessness and hard work, they have responded quickly to reach out to members of their communities in need of support and comfort at this time, from organising food drops to vulnerable people to coming up with creative solutions to keep people fit and healthy. I salute their compassion and generosity of spirit.”
Niall Erskine, Chairman of the World GAA Committee, said: "We are enormously proud of the extent to which Gaelic Games are now being played and enjoyed overseas with more than 450 GAA Clubs in existence outside of Ireland. The Global Games Development Project plays a huge part in terms of support for these Clubs. The fund provides financial support specifically for projects and initiatives that increase or improve opportunities for the Irish Diaspora and other communities abroad to play Gaelic Games.
"I would like to acknowledge our appreciation to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for their continued support for our clubs and communities abroad."
Croke Park would also like to take this opportunity to thank the International Boards for their input and wish all the applicants success with their projects.