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GAA: Ulster to help push in Britain

Published 21/11/2007

A strong drive to underpin the GAA in Britain is to be launched and Ulster will play a part in this.

The province has close links with several units of the GAA in England, particularly at Higher Education level.

A strategy has been devised whereby it is envisaged that the association can go forward until 2012 - the year in which the Olympics will be held, incidentally.

GAA President Nickey Brennan has already predicted that the strategy will help boost the overall image of the association across the channel.

Brennan, who has attended numerous functions in Ulster over the course of the past month and who was a VIP guest at the Eire Og (Derriaghy) banquet on Saturday night, has welcomed the framework by which clubs can now spread their wings.

Christy Cooney, chairman of the Strategy Group for Britain, has helped to drive the initiative which could see Ulster enjoying even closer relationships with units across the water.

In the 2002 census it was established that there are 750,000 Irish-born people in Britain, a sizeable number of these of Ulster stock.

Currently the GAA has 93 clubs across Britain, all fielding adult teams and about one-third fielding under-age teams under the British Council of the GAA, which has the status of a Provincial Council.

The Strategy Plan is based around seven themes following widespread consultation.

These include Structures and Governance, The Games, Schools and Colleges, Grounds, Physical Development, Culture and Heritage, Promotion and Marketing, Resources and Finance and Relationship with Ireland.

Several key recommendations have already been adopted and implementation will begin almost immediately.

Belfast Telegraph

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