On the same day that over 130 young members received awards in Croke Park for their participation in the Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative, Dermot Earley Jr. was on the sideline guiding the Irish International Rules team in their test series match against Australia.
The programme honouring his father’s legacy targets young GAA members between 15-18 years of age and operates as an innovative partnership between the GAA, Foróige, Ireland’s leading youth organisation, and NUI Galway. The Initiative gives young people the opportunity to take part in Foróige’s Leadership programme which has been customised for this partnership with the GAA and NUI Galway. The 130 male and female participants received a certificate from Uachtarán Cuman Lúthchleas Gael, Aogan O’ Fearghail, for completing the first of their three modules. Those who successfully complete all three modules between September 2015 and May 2016 – which involves 30 instructional hours and 20 hours of community action in total – will be eligible to receive a Level 6 Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action from NUIG.
Helping to guide their journey through this exploration of leadership were a troupe of facilitators who volunteered from within the GAA and Foróige, each of whom completed a four-day training course provided by Foróige and NUI Galway. For their time and efforts they were also awarded with a parchment for the Foundation Diploma in Training and Education.
The Earley family were represented on the day by Dermot’s wife, Mary, and their six children, Dermot Jr, Anne-Marie, Noelle, Paula, Conor and David. Dermot Jr, a former Kildare inter-county All Star and GPA president, said:“My father was passionate about enabling young people to achieve their full potential. On behalf of the Earley family we are delighted to give our support to this initiative and look forward to the positive influence these young leaders will have on their GAA clubs, their communities and beyond.”
An Uachtarán CLG, Aogan O’ Fearghail, said; “The Association and the Irish nation are built on the shoulders of our great leaders of the past, such as Dermot Earley senior. The GAA’s future and the communities we serve will be built on the leadership of these young men and women. I want to thank the facilitator from the GAA and Foróige for giving so freely of their time as volunteers and making this programme come to life for members from 74 clubs across eight counties. I also want to acknowledge the NUIG’s contribution in providing a tangible academic recognition for the work both the facilitators and the participants are putting into this exciting programme.”
Séan Campbell, Foróige CEO said, "Foróige are delighted and honoured to join with the GAA and NUI Galway to roll out the Dermot Earley Leadership Programme. Dermot Earley epitomised all the values of leadership on and off the field and We hope it inspires participants to take a leading role in the GAA and their community."