GPA chief and former Dublin football star Dessie Farrell.
Photo by: PA Archive/PA Photos
There was a strong turnout of Gaelic Players' Association members at a meeting with politicians on Wednesday in Dublin.
GPA chief Dessie Farrell and approximately 20 players - among them Waterford hurler Eoin Kelly and Dublin footballer Collie Moran - met a delegation of TDs and senators, arising out of fear that the Government will scrap its fledgling grants scheme.
The program started one year ago, but because of the Government's chronic financial problems, there are inevitable concerns that the scheme will be rendered defunct altogether.
Farrell insists that GAA players should be entitled to similar tax breaks to those granted to professional athletes in 2002.
He told reporters on Wednesday: "This goes back to the 2002 Finance Bill. We pursued it ever since, and thankfully last year the scheme was implemented, so it would be a great, great shame to see its demise.
"I don't think that will happen, and we've contacted players all over the country to contact their local TDs. The feedback from that exercise has been very good.
"The consensus is that the principle of the scheme should be upheld. We do acknowledge that there could be a reduction in the funding and we're prepared to take that.
"You need to look at the cut that other sports are taking, and as long as it's on a par with that, we'll go along with it."
Asked if the GPA had a contingency plan in place should the Government's financial backing be taken away, Farrell said: "To be honest, we haven't even thought about that.
"We want to know when the decision will be taken," Farrell stressed just before the meeting. "In the absence of a decision being made, you'll have this speculation that the grants will go."