31 Inter-County Players Graduate from the Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme

19 Players Receive Certificates in Professional Leadership

The latest group of inter-county players from all over Ireland graduated from the Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme at a special ceremony at Maynooth University.  21 players representing the GPA and 10 players representing the WGPA from 21 counties in total made up the Class of 2019.

A further 13 GPA members 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 from hurling, football, camogie and ladies football completing their first day today.  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.  Today’s event 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 29 counties here today 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 here today 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 McFaddenDonegal 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