FOOTBALL: LGFA honours 23 graduates from ‘Learn To Lead’ Female Leadership Programme

FOOTBALL: LGFA honours 23 graduates from ‘Learn To Lead’ Female Leadership Programme

THE Ladies Gaelic Football Association honoured the 23 graduates from its second ‘Learn to Lead’ Female Leadership programme at the Bonnington Hotel in Dublin last Saturday evening (May 14).  (Uachtarán Cumann Peil Gael na mBan, Mícheál Naughton with graduates, back row, from left, Amy Butler, Yvonne Duffy, Aoibhinn Gilmartin, Marion Hayden, Linda Walsh, Lisa Flaherty, Margaret McCorry, Bernie Durkan, Mary Ita Casey, Martina McCafferty, Síle Moynihan and Catherine Ring. With front, from left, Ciara Gilroy, Veronica Murphy, Pamela Hayden, Angela Gallagher, Jacqui Mulligan, Tara Dooley, Emma Murphy, Julie Fitzpatrick and Sorcha Furlong during the Learn to Lead LGFA Female Leadership Programme graduation evening at the Bonnington Hotel in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile)

‘Learn to Lead’ – a unique programme that was launched in 2019 – was supported over the past year by Women in Sport funding through Sport Ireland.

The programme, devised to develop the next generation of female leaders within Ladies Gaelic Football, was delivered once again by experts in the fields of coaching, officiating, administration and PR/Media.

Over four days, and six evenings, the LGFA examined diverse leadership skills and focused on the skill-sets and techniques required to master each of the four strands – coaching, officiating, administration and PR/Media.

Six candidates were originally chosen to participate in each strand – and the final list of 23 included leading coaches, officials, administrators and players, representing the four provinces.

The 2021/2022 programme commenced on June 12, 2021, following a Covid-19 enforced delay, and concluded last Saturday with the final Leadership Day at the Bonnington Hotel, followed by graduation that evening, where proceedings were overseen by LGFA CEO, Helen O’Rourke, and President, Mícheál Naughton.

Gillian Harford, Country Executive with the 30% Club, was also present to deliver a keynote address on the night.   

Pedro Angulo, Head of Learning, Talent and Engagement at Brown Thomas Arnotts,

and Niamh McElwain, founder of The Hybrid Way, delivered the final day of course content, before the participants retired to the Hotel to reflect upon their achievements. 

Ladies Gaelic Football Association President Mícheál Naughton, who presented the participants with their commemorative medallions at the Graduation evening, commented: “This was a memorable night as we honoured our ‘Learn to Lead’ graduates in Dublin on Saturday evening.

“The level of engagement and participation in the programme by all graduates was truly outstanding and the feedback from the course participants has been extremely positive.

“Establishing the ‘Learn to Lead’ programme was another important step forward for our Association, with leaders now emerging from within to oversee the rapid rate of progress and change that will occur long into the future. 

“I wish to pay tribute to and congratulate our 2021/22 graduates. They are already fulfilling key roles within our Association and will continue to do so for many years to come.

“They are now armed with newly-acquired skills to add to already finely-tuned skillsets and these females are people that the families, clubs, counties and the wider LGFA community can be extremely proud of.”

The full list of graduates, and the strands in which they participated, reads as follows:

Strand Name Club County
Administration Veronica Murphy Corofin Galway
Administration Linda Walsh Thomas Davis Dublin
Administration Mary Ita Casey Athea Limerick
Administration Catherine Ring Knocknagree Ladies Cork
Administration Amy Butler Galtee Rovers St. Pecaun’s Tipperary
Administration Tara Dooley Naomh Mhuire Íochtar Na  Rosann Donegal
Coaching Lisa Flaherty Shamrocks Offaly
Coaching Margaret McCorry Wolfe Tones Derrymacash Armagh
Coaching Bernie Durkan Kilcock Kildare
Coaching Julie Fitzpatrick Naomh Mairtin Louth
Coaching Martina McCafferty Steelstown Brian Ogs Derry
Coaching Síle Moynihan St. Ailbhes Limerick
Officiating Pamela Hayden Old Leighlin Carlow
Officiating Ciara Gilroy Tullylish Down
Officiating Marion Hayden Eire Og Carlow
Officiating Yvonne Duffy Mullahoran LGFA Cavan
Officiating Jacqui Mulligan St. Farnan’s Sligo
Officiating Angela Gallagher Lucan Sarsfields Dublin
PR/Media Caoimhe Morgan Lissummon Armagh
PR/Media Aoibhinn Gilmartin Old Leighlin Carlow
PR/Media Sorcha Furlong St. Brigid’s Dublin
PR/Media Siobhán McCluskey Emyvale LGFA Monaghan
PR/Media Emma Murphy Wanderers GAA, Ballyboden Dublin