The Fenagh Ladies GM4O group who played in Croke Park last year. Photo by Willie Donnellan
Leitrim GAA Clubs who host the popular LGFA “Gaelic 4 Mothers & Others” programme have been told they must ensure that the groups take out their own individual insurance and sign waiver forms if they wish to use GAA facilities.
Clubs like Melvin Gaels and Fenagh have incredibly successful Gaelic4Mothers & Others programme, an initiative that is run by the Ladies Gaelic Football Association to introduce mothers and other women to playing Ladies Gaelic Football in a fun, non-competitive and social environment.
In an email sent out to Club this week, Leitrim GAA County Board Secretary Attracta O’Reilly advised that clubs “should make sure that all activities being held on their club facilities by Gaelic4Mothers & Others are covered by insurance”.
The issue is complicated by the fact that the GAA and LGFA are separate organisations and the GAA’s own Player Insurance does not cover participants in the LGFA “Gaelic 4 Mothers & Others” programme and neither does the LGFA Player Insurance scheme.
In the email, Attracta writes “All clubs should make sure that all activities being held on their club facilities by Gaelic For Mothers and Others are covered by insurance. In particular games and training by individual ladies to be covered for player injuries that may occur.
“Under the LGFA Player Injury insurance Gaelic For Mothers and Others does not extend to them as they are classed as participating in Recreational Games/Training.
“Clubs should be aware of this and make sure that this group within their club should take out group or individual insurance cover and also sign a ''Waiver Form'' acknowledging the fact that they are not covered for player injury by the GAA's LGFA Insurance Fund.”
Under the LGFA Guidelines for the G4M&O programme, it states that it “is a recreational LGFA activity and all players participating in same either play at their own risk or utilise private insurance.”
The LGFA’s booklet also stated “After six weeks, it is the clubs responsibility to continue running the initiative. All players must register as official members of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association through their club registrar. They do not need to pay into the injury fund.”
Options for players include players signing a waiver and agree to continue playing at own risk or Clubs contacting insurance companies to see if they can do any other rates. Another option is playing looking at their own private health insurance cover to see if sustained an injury in this activity would be covered.
Another option is that players link in with another G4M&O site nearby and jointly apply to Insurance company to see if can apply for joint cover.