Enigmatic leader and GAA legend Dermot Earley set to inspire new generation

Foróige-Notinuse's picture
Foróige-Notinuse September 3, 2013

The family of the late great Dermot Earley Snr believe a new initiative in his honour can help the next generation of young Irish leaders make their mark in the world.

The Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative, brought together by the National University of Ireland, Galway; Foróige, Ireland’s leading youth organisation; Alan Kerins Projects and the GAA, will commence in Croke Park on Saturday, October 26, the day his brother Paul takes charge of the second International Rules series match against the Australians.

It will offer 15 young GAA club members from counties Roscommon, Kildare, and Galway the opportunity to develop their leadership skills through an exciting programme that evokes and honours the values Dermot epitomised and held so dear. The application process for interested participants is now open and will remain so until Friday, September 27, 2013.

 Speaking on behalf of the Earley family, Dermot Jr, former Kildare GAA star, said:

“Enabling young people to achieve their full potential was something my father was passionate about. 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.”

The lucky participants, who must be between 15- and 17-years-old, will explore all elements of leadership before being asked to put their skills to work in their own clubs and communities. Those who complete all three modules between October 2013 and April 2014 will be eligible to graduate from NUIG with a Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action. Following the initial gathering in Croke Park, all subsequent sessions will take place in the participants’ own county and will be delivered by GAA and Foróige volunteers who have received specific training in NUI Galway. The course will be part-time in nature and will be delivered in the evenings and at weekends through a timetable that will avoid interference with school and other educational or sporting commitments.

Uachtarán CLG, Mr Liam O’Neill, said, “Few better demonstrated the broad and varied skills and attributes associated with true leadership than the late, great Dermot Earley. On and off the field the field Dermot led by example and inspired all those around him. The GAA is honoured to contribute to this great legacy through this initiative.”

Seán Campbell, CEO Foróige, said: “Foróige is delighted to partner with the GAA and NUI Galway to honour the memory of a modern day Irish hero, Dermot Earley.  Foróige believes, as did the late Dermot Earley, that all young people have the power to have a real and meaningful impact on the world around them. With this programme, they gain the skills and attitudes that equip them to do just that.”

Anne Walsh, NUIG, added: “In collaboration with Foróige, the GAA, and Alan Kerins Projects, NUI Galway is delighted to accredit a programme that recognises the valuable contribution that Dermot Earley as a role model can make to the development and leadership skills of young people. This programme will sow the seed for the skills and knowledge that our future leaders need and is a wonderful tribute to the values that Dermot Earley espoused and practised.”

The programme is free of charge, with a €40 registration fee covering the cost of printing of materials and manuals which will be issued to the participants. Those who decide to avail of the opportunity of graduating at the official NUI Galway graduating ceremony will have to cover a registration fee of €300 (there may be an option of fundraising towards this as part of the programme activities). Participants will also have the opportunity to fundraise and travel to Zambia as part of the Alan Kerins Projects intercultural youth programme.

The application process is now open to members of GAA clubs in counties Kildare, Roscommon, and Galway, aged between 15-17 years-old. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, September 27, at 5pm. Full details and application forms are available at www.gaa.ie/deyli  



Notes to Editors


Brief bio on Dermot Earley Snr.

Lieutenant-General Dermot Earley DSM (24 February 1948 – 23 June 2010) was an Irish army officer and sportsman. He played Gaelic football with his local clubs Michael Glavey's and Sarsfield's and was a member of the Roscommon senior inter-county team from 1965 until 1985. Earley is regarded as one of the greatest players never to have won an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medal.

Earley's status as one of the all-time greats is self-evident. In a senior inter-county career that lasted for twenty years he won five Connacht titles, one National League, two All-Star awards, however, the ultimate honour of an All-Ireland medal at senior level eluded him. In retirement Earley served as manager of both the Roscommon and Kildare senior inter-county teams.

Earley also served as a high-ranking military official in Ireland and with the United Nations. He was the Irish Defence Forces Chief of Staff from 2007 until his retirement in 2010.

His Newbridge funeral on 24 June 2010 was attended by An Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Irish government ministers and leading GAA figures, while former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave issued a statement calling him ‘one of the great figures of this country’.