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O'Neill stresses need for all-inclusive GAA

Added: Thursday, October 31, 2013

THE GAA has launched its Wheelchair Hurling inter-provincial tournament, which aims to offer a GAA alternative to people with disabilities.

The competition, which will be sponsored by Martin Donnelly, takes place in Athlone IT on Saturday.

Clare All-Ireland winner Colin Ryan and Ireland shinty captain Neil McManus were on hand to launch the event along with wheelchair athletes Steven Casey (Munster and Limerick) and Daniel Jordan (Leinster and Dublin), who will compete this weekend.

It is hoped the competition will lead to the formation of a wheelchair hurling league and offer some of the 600,000 people in Ireland with a disability a sporting outlet.

Association president Liam O'Neill stressed it was important for the GAA to be all-inclusive.

"Our vision in the GAA is that everybody has the opportunity to be welcomed, to take part in our games and culture, to participate fully, to grow and develop and to be inspired to keep a lifelong engagement with our Association – and that extends to able-bodied and disabled players alike," O'Neill said.

Throw-in in Athlone IT is at 11.30 on Saturday; more information on the competition is available by emailing Tony Watene at inclusion@gaa.ie.

 Donnchadh Boyle, Irish Independent

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