GAA president Liam O'NeillGPA

Top GAA officials in Ireland have expressed major surprise after Dessie Farrell, head of the player’s representative group, revealed that many players have gambling addictions.

Farrell, head of the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) stated that, "It's a big, big problem. We're trying to get people who are dealing with these mental health/addiction issues back on their feet and give them a plan."

GAA president Liam O'Neill said he would hold urgent discussions on the matter. "If the leader of the GPA talks about something that concerns players, we'll take it seriously. He appears to know more about this particular matter than we do, so we'll discuss it and see how we can jointly address it.

"Obviously, the GPA have done their homework on this, so we'll listen carefully to what they have to say. Anything that impacts on players has to be considered closely," O'Neill added.

"It's new territory for me. I don't know what the implications are or indeed what we can do about it. Clearly, it's a very complex area. But if something is happening that's concerning the GPA, we'll look into it," he said.

Read more: Gambling is a major problem among GAA players say Gaelic Players Association