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WATCH: Limerick duo graduate from Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme

WATCH: Limerick duo graduate from Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme

Limerick’s Niamh Mulcahy pictured at her graduation from the Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme at Maynooth University alongside GPA CEO Paul Flynn, WGPA Chairperson Maria Kinsella and sponsor Michae

Limerick’s Niamh Mulcahy and Mairéad Kavanagh were part of the latest group of inter-county players from all over Ireland who graduated from the Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme at a special ceremony at Maynooth University on Friday, January 24th.  21 players representing the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) and 10 players representing the Women’s Gaelic Players Association (WGPA) from 21 counties in total made up the Class of 2019.

A further 13 GPA members, including former Limerick footballer Ian Ryan, and 6 members of the WGPA, graduated from the Special Purpose Award in Professional Leadership.  This is an optional accreditation pathway for those who have already completed the initial programme and is awarded by Maynooth University through the Department of Education.

The Jim Madden Leadership Programme has been developed specifically with inter-county players in mind.  The tailored programme sees students paired with a professional life coach with whom they work to address their individual development needs.  Participants gain skills which they can draw on in their personal, sporting and professional lives.

The programme has been made possible through the support of Michael Madden and his family who have dedicated this programme and curriculum to the memory of their late father Jim, who was a tireless grassroots GAA and community activist in Tipperary.

2020 will be the sixth year of the programme with a further 33 players including Caoimhe Costelloe and Michael Ryan, starting out.  The programme consists of a leadership masterclass, development centre workshop, personal and interpersonal leadership workshops, group leadership skills workshop and a community project.

Speaking at the graduation Paul Flynn, CEO of the GPA, said; “The work we carry out at the GPA comes under three key pillars; welfare, development and representation.  This graduation shows once again how we are having a positive impact in the development of players as we continue with our aim of helping them develop on and off the field. 

“In total there are 83 individuals from 28 counties involved who will benefit from the support of the GPA and WGPA, between those graduating and those just starting out on the programme.  It’s a testament to the success of the programme and that would not be possible without the ongoing support of the Madden family who we once again thank most sincerely.”

Maria Kinsella, WGPA Chairperson added; “It is great to be part of the 16 WGPA members who are graduating and also to see another 12 ladies footballers and camogie players starting out on the programme.  The Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme is massively beneficial and I can testify to that from my own personal experience.

“The WGPA always strive to support players to achieve their potential both on and off the field. It’s great that we can offer this support to our players and is one of the many ways in which we work closely with the GPA in what is an ever-strengthening relationship.”

Presenting the awards, Dean of the Faculty of Social Science at Maynooth University, Dr Mark Maguire said; “Everyone at Maynooth University is very proud to be able to support inter-county players and we are delighted with the continued success of this Leadership Programme. Our Leadership Programme Accreditation Pathway develops the skills required for future leaders to unlock their full potential and to pursue further education.” 

Michael Madden, sponsor of the Jim Madden Leadership Programme, said; “We are delighted and honoured with the success of the Jim Madden Leadership Programme over the last five years. We are proud that the programme was inclusive from launch involving both the GPA and the WGPA, the impact and outreach to thousands of primary school children and the participants’ dedication and commitment to the programme each year. The professionalism and dedication of the GPA and WPGA made it an easy decision for the Madden family to extend the support for an additional two years.”   

Over 140 GPA and WGPA members have graduated from the Jim Madden Leadership Programme since its inception.

Jim Madden Leadership Programme 2019 Graduates

Stephen Coen                Mayo Football

Neil Ewing                       Sligo Football

Caoimhe Keoghegan   Kildare Football

John Meagher               Tipperary Football

Paul Killeen                    Galway Hurling

Paul Geaney                   Kerry Football

John Gaffey                    Westmeath Football

Maria Kinsella               Carlow Football

Seamus Callanan          Tipperary Hurling

Cillian Egan                     Roscommon Hurling

Johnny Buckley             Kerry Football

Corey Scahill                  Mayo Hurling

James Glancy                 Leitrim Football

Paul Cahillane               Laois Football

Aine Tighe                       Leitrim Football

Ciaran Deely                  Wexford Football/London Football

Orla Cronin                     Cork Camogie

Aine Lyng                        Waterford Camogie

Niall Kilroy                      Roscommon Football

Chris Kerr                        Antrim Football

Fiona Keating                Westmeath Camogie

Gary Brennan                Clare Football

Niamh Mulcahy            Limerick Camogie

Paddy Stapleton           Tipperary Hurling

Jamie O’Sullivan           Cork Football

James Madden             Dublin Hurling

Eoin Doyle                      Kildare Football

Mairéad Kavanagh      Limerick Ladies Football

Seán Ryan                       Offaly Football/Hurling

Laurie Ryan                    Clare Football

Roisin Friel                      Donegal Football


Certificates in Professional Leadership 2019 Graduates

Liam Óg McGovern      Wexford Hurling

Shane Nolan                  Louth Hurling

Eoghan Ruth                  Carlow Football

Neil McManus               Antrim Hurling

Valarie Mulcahy           Cork Football

Clare Owens                   Leitrim Football

Shane O’Sullivan          Waterford Hurling

Jennifer Rogers             Westmeath Football

Patrick Nolan                 Roscommon Hurling

Mark Hayes                    Cavan Hurling

Donnacha Tobin           Meath Football

Stephen Lonergan        Offaly Football

Rena Buckley                 Cork Camogie/Cork Football

Sinéad Delahunty         Tipperary Football

Matthew O’Hanlon     Wexford Hurling

Diarmuid O’Keeffe       Wexford Hurling

Aoife Lane                      Former WGPA Chairperson

Donal McElligott           Longford Football

Ian Ryan                          Limerick Football


Jim Madden Leadership Programme 2020 Class

Niamh Mallon               Down Camogie

Cáit Glass                        Derry Football

Joanne Cregg                 Roscommon Football

Samantha Lambert      Tipperary Football

Lisa Crowley                   Cork Football

Caoimhe Costelloe      Limerick Camogie

Louise Henchy               Clare Football

Eimear Kelly                   Clare Camogie

Olivia Forde                    Galway Camogie

Orlagh Farmer               Cork Football

Naomi O’Carroll            Clare Camogie

Amy O’Connor              Cork Camogie

Kieran Lillis                     Laois Football

Ultan Harney                 Roscommon Football

Ciaran Dunne                London Football

Conor Meyler                Tyrone Football

Patrick Murphy             Offaly Hurling

David Reidy                    Clare Hurling

Edward Byrne                Carlow Hurling

Timmy Hammersley    Tipperary Hurling

Stephen Gilmartin       Sligo Football

Daniel Flynn                   Kildare Football

Hugh John McFadden Donegal Football

Danny Cullen                 Donegal Hurling

Paul Flanagan                Clare Hurling

Gerry Spollen                Offaly Hurling/Football

Ross Kelly                        Kildare Hurling

Mark Fitzharris              Kildare Football

Hugh Rooney                 Roscommon Hurling

Michael Ryan                 Limerick Hurling

Joseph Boyle                  Westmeath Hurling

Shay Murnin                  Down Football

Alan Nolan                     Dublin Hurling


Jim Madden

The Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme was founded in 2014 in memory of Jim Madden. Jim, a committed GAA and community leader from the village of Portroe in county Tipperary, was passionate about developing players across hurling, football and camogie.  Advocating and encouraging participation by all in the community and recognising the importance of GAA players as role models.  Jim had a love for all sports especially the GAA and enjoyed success at all grades as a player, selector and manager with his club Portroe.  Jim was a selector with the Tipperary Senior Camogie team when they won their first ever All-Ireland championship in 1999 and was a selector for two further All-Ireland's in 2000 and 2001 completing an historic three-in-a-row.  His three daughters all played camogie for Tipperary with his daughter Claire wining five All-Ireland senior camogie championships. 

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