The GAA will produce a shared vision for one Gaelic Games association and design a roadmap to make it happen, according to its new strategic plan 2022-2026.

The report, 'Aontas 2026 - Towards one GAA for all' prioritises the exploration of viable integration structures to form one association to govern all Gaelic Games bodies.

The report states that this process will be undertaken in conjunction with the LGFA, Camogie, Handball, and Rounders associations.

"The key initiative is to form one progressive and inclusive Association to govern all Gaelic games," says the report.

In terms of integration this policy target is much more specific and more clearly defined than the course of action outlined in the 2018 strategic report which simply proposed to ‘Integrate more closely across the GAA family.’

In the new report, launched today, however, the GAA’s stated aim is to definitively form one association and evolve governance structures at all levels to deliver administrative services to clubs and counties as efficiently as possible.

The top five priorities identified for action are maximum participation among players, coaches, referees and officers, the deliverance of a sustainable association with thriving clubs at its core, the target of six codes and one association, a connected and inclusive association and finally, good governance.

"The GAA, Camogie association and the LGFA aim to offer a safe, welcoming, sporting and cultural outlet to as many people as possible for the length of their lives," said president, Larry McCarthy.

"The title of this plan ‘Aontas 2026 – Towards One GAA for All’ underlines our intention as an organisation to come together with the members of the GAA family and align our activities.

"It is a signal of the direction we hope to take. The title also reflects our commitment to strengthen the connection we have with our members and supporters and make the GAA a more diverse and inclusive organisation where everyone feels welcome to participate in our games and activities."


Read the full strategic plan 2022-2026 here


Over 15,000 responses to the public strategy survey were received with 230 semi-structured submissions outlining the long-term hopes of key stakeholders for growing Gaelic games.

"Rarely has the need to map a way forward been more important for the organisation than it is now given the challenges we have overcome and the importance of rebounding in a positive way," said director-general Tom Ryan.

"There is no such thing as a plan with an answer for everything or one that covers every eventuality. However, at the heart of every successful organisation lies a planning process that defines and expresses the scope of the organisation through its purpose, vision, values and objectives.

"On that front, we are no different. This is not a strait jacket that the GAA must conform to and fit into. It deliberately leaves scope to be flexible and nimble when the need arises and we have learnt from similar previous projects, when societal changes dramatically altered targets and circumstances.

"For example, the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that revenue earmarked for initiatives can never be taken for granted. In addition, we can achieve more as an association if we can convince as many members, supporters, and partners as possible to buy into a shared vision.

"Accordingly, this strategic plan places more emphasis on the vision of what we want to achieve in specific areas rather than the specific actions we will take and metrics we will use to judge progress. Organisations must be able to adapt to the changing environment in which they operate."

The GAA says it will also continue to monitor the standard of Gaelic football and hurling to guide future interventions geared towards improving playing standards.

In that regard they will produce and evaluate an annual report on the state of the games based on evidence gathered over the course of each season which will assist the association in identifying prevailing trends that will allow for appropriate responses to be formulated.

They will also consider how the scheduling of matches could promote better integration of games into modern life for players and other volunteers alike.

The aim is to ‘make Gaelic football and hurling as enjoyable as possible so that players stay playing and spectators enjoy watching games and to ensure players have an adequate number of meaningful games and an appropriate game to training ratio to improve participation and retention," the report continues.

Aside from games, people, communication, resources, clubs and communities, governance are the other areas targeted for strategic action in the coming five years.

Listen to the RTÉ GAA Podcast at Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.