Ulster GAA coaching jobs safe… for now

October 14, 2017

General view of the Ulster GAA crest.
©INPHO/Cathal Noonan.

Twenty-four GAA coaching jobs at schools across Northern Ireland have been handed a reprieve after extra funding became available this week.

The GAA coaches, along with 27 IFA (Irish Football Association) coaches, had been put on protective notice in May for a 90-day period amid fears that the Curriculum Sports Programme scheme could be discontinued due to the absence of an agreed Stormont budget for 2017/18. 

But the prospect of thousands of children in 450 primary schools being left without coaching has been avoided after the Department of Education agreed to extend its support for the scheme until the end of next March.

In a joint statement, Ulster GAA chief executive Brian McAvoy and his IFA counterpart Patrick Nelson said: "We thank the Department of Education and the Head of the Civil Service for listening to our concerns and for their efforts in finding additional finances at a time when budgets across government face significant challenges.

"We also thank the politicians from all parties and other campaigners, including many school teachers, who have worked with us over the past number of months to help secure today's outcome."

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