GPA CHIEF EXECUTIVE Dessie Farrell has paid tribute to Niall Donoghue in his address at today’s annual AGM of the players body.
Galway hurler Donoghue tragically passed away last month and today in Croke Park, Farrell spoke of how the 2013 GAA season will be ‘forever shrouded in sadness’.
He also urged members to increase efforts to ensure that there is assistance for those struggling with mental health issues.
“Tragically, as outlined by the GPA Chairman, it is a year that will be forever shrouded in sadness following the death of Galway hurler Niall Donohue.
“Like everyone associated with Niall through club and county, we share the sense of purpose emerging from the bitter grief of his loss.
“We must redouble our efforts to make sure that the young men in society struggling in distress are encouraged to engage with support, that we hear the call and recognise the signs of their distress.
“GPA commitment to supporting the lives of our players is unwavering. Partnerships with organisations such as Pieta House and Headstrong are more relevant than ever and are a demonstration of our commitment to the broader challenge in society.
“We will be reaching out to our reps and our panels with renewed vigour, to be vigilant, supportive, compassionate and active.
“As role models in our sport, in our communities and in our society county players and their Players Association can play a vital role in helping to promote better mental health in Ireland.
Pic: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan
“Congratulations to all the county players who contributed so much to the sporting landscape in 2013. We can look back on 2013 as one of the most dynamic years in the Association’s history is inspirational as we strive to create a better future for players.
“Yet a year of great success, joy and achievement closed with tragedy and sadness. Let the memory of a fallen comrade be our inspiration to make a real difference.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh anam Niall.”