THE Gaelic Players Association (GPA) and Cliona’s Foundation have announced that they have teamed together as part of an official charity partnership agreement to raise vital funds to make a difference to the lives of families across Ireland caring for a seriously sick child. This partnership will see inter-county players across the thirty-two counties support Cliona’s Foundation’s life-changing work and contribute to the fundraising efforts of the charity for the next twelve-month period.
Cliona’s Foundation is a national charity, that uniquely provides financial assistance to families of children with a life-limiting or chronic complex care needs to help with non-medical expenses related to caring for their child.
A target of €100,000 has been set for the fundraising campaign element of this partnership. With no statutory support, Cliona’s Foundation is wholly reliant on the support of individuals and organisations. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the charity lose almost 60% of its income as fundraising events and activities got cancelled or postponed. Individuals wishing to donate or find out more about Cliona’s Foundation’s impact can go to: https://clionas.ie/. Donations can also be made via text. To donate €4 text FAMILIES to 50300. (Text cost €4 & Cliona’s will receive a minimum of €3.60. SP: LikeCharity, Helpline: 076 6805 278)
To mark the occasion players from each of the provinces and the four codes represented by the GPA gathered at Croke Park for the announcement. Galway’s Lorraine Ryan, Meath’s Máire O’Shaughnessy, Tyrone’s Conor McKenna and Limerick’s Shane Dowling were joined by incoming GPA CEO Tom Parsons and Cliona’s Foundation CEO Brendan Ring. Shane also sits on the Cliona’s Foundation Board.
There were also two other very special guests at the event. Susan Ahern Daly and her daughter Olivia represented just one of the many families who have been supported by Cliona’s Foundation to date.
Speaking about the decision to work with Cliona’s Foundation Tom Parsons said, “The work Cliona’s Foundation does speaks for itself and when we approached players about getting involved there was an overwhelmingly positive response. As an association representing 4,000 inter-county players, we have key values to which we aspire. We are leaders; we are caring; we are ambitious; we are innovators. This Official Charity Partnership aligns perfectly with these values.
“Our members care deeply about using their influence for the greater good and showing leadership within their communities. Players are role models and often seen as heroes for children in their communities, so a charity that supports the most vulnerable families and children across Ireland seems like a perfect fit. Personally, I am delighted to help announce this partnership as my first official function as GPA CEO. I want to thank Brendan Ring and all the team at Cliona’s Foundation for welcoming the GPA aboard as their partner and we look forward to working with them in a very productive way.”
Speaking about the partnership, Brendan Ring co-founder of Cliona’s Foundation said; “Right now, we are facing the largest-ever demand from families for financial assistance despite fundraising activities being severely curtailed. We are enormously excited to be the GPA’s official charity partner. This is a wonderful collaboration and demonstration of families helping families in need to ensure that no family gets left behind.”
“When our daughter Olivia was diagnosed with a life-threatening liver tumour and liver disease, our world was turned upside down. There are so many unexpected extra expenses when you’re dealing with a seriously ill child. Cliona’s is unlike any other charitable organisation in this country – they were literally a lifeline for our family,” commented Susan Ahern Daly, a Cliona’s Foundation family.
Lorraine, Máire, Conor and Shane will work as ambassadors for this partnership while the GPA will be working with all the squads it represents on fundraising activities in the coming months.
As part of the announcement, a new Official Charity Partnership logo was revealed in support of the agreement. This logo incorporates the new unified GPA brand which has been developed to recognise the merger with the Women’s Gaelic Players Association in December of last year.