ICON plc and the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) have announced that they have extended their partnership to further support the education and welfare of inter-county GAA players.

Gaelic players have enjoyed the support of ICON plc, (NASDAQ: ICLR) a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, for over four years.

Since 2012, as part of the ICON-GPA Life Sciences Scholarship program, ICON has provided annual financial support to players studying science-related courses, including medicine, pharmacy, biology, science and mathematics. In addition to financial support, ICON has become the first company to partner with the GPA on their new Insights through Excellence Programme which aims to enhance players’ leadership competencies in a business environment. Insights through Excellence provides high potential players with valuable access to a select and exclusive group of senior executives and management teams of Irish, multi-national and SMEs, exposing them to leadership roles within these organizations.

GPA Chief Executive Dessie Farrell commented, “The partnership with ICON has been very significant for the GPA since 2012 and we are absolutely delighted with today’s announcement of an extension of their support for our Life Science Scholarships and the Insights through Excellence Programme. Partnering with an Irish company with a true global presence is of enormous benefit to our organization. ICON’s wonderful commitment to county hurlers and footballers reflects the great contribution our players make to the cultural and social fabric of our country. We look forward greatly to strengthening our relationship with this outstanding Irish company.”

ICON’s Chief Executive, Ciaran Murray, said: “We are delighted to extend our partnership with the GPA to support their latest initiative in helping to create the next generation of Irish business leaders. As a global leader in clinical research and a recognized industry innovator, we are committed to helping build Ireland’s reputation as a global center of excellence for science and research. Encouraging students to engage in life sciences and working with them to develop strong leadership skills is key to Ireland’s continued success and we look forward to working with the GPA to help players apply their leadership skills in a business context.”

Pictured at the announcement of the extended partnership between ICON and the GPA were Jack McCaffrey, Dublin footballer, Shane O’Donnell, Clare hurler and Tiernan McCann, Tyrone footballer. All three, along with 20 other players who are studying science-related courses, will receive the ICON-GPA Life Sciences Scholarship for the forthcoming academic year.

ICON plc is a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. The company specializes in the strategic development, management and analysis of programs that support clinical development – from compound selection to Phase I-IV clinical studies. ICON currently has approximately 10,300 employees, operating from 77 locations in 38 countries.

More information is at www.gaelicplayers.com.