The largest ever membership response to a sports survey in Ireland has given a clear vote of confidence to the path towards integration by the three Gaelic Games Associations.

Commissioned by the Steering Group on Integration (SGI) of the Camogie Association, the Gaelic Athletic Association, and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, and conducted and verified independently by Behaviours & Attitudes, more than 30,000 members completed the survey.

The initial findings show that 9 out of 10 members “believe integration will be positive for Gaelic Games” with 7 in 10 believing it will be “very positive”.

“We greatly appreciate the time and the effort that people made to take part in this survey and thank them sincerely,” said SGI Chair Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese.

“The significant engagement of more than 30,000 members says a lot about how passionate the ordinary membership of the Camogie Association, LGFA and GAA is about this issue and how anxious they were to have their voices heard.”

“The fact that 9 out of 10 members believe that integration will be positive for Gaelic Games sends a very clear message about what their vision for the future is.”

“There is work to be done, but there is a mandate there from members who have spoken and who have been heard.”

The full findings of the survey are currently being compiled and will be added to the feedback from previous engagements that the SGI has had with volunteer leadership at club, county and provincial levels, representatives of the staff and administration of all three Associations, as well as with players.

The SGI has given itself a deadline of February 2024 for the publication of its integration roadmap, a deadline reaffirmed by McAleese on the Late Late Show on Friday night, bringing the next stage of this integration to a wider audience than might otherwise have been interested and bringing renewed urgency to the work that does still need to be undertaken to get some reluctant travellers on the journey over the line.

Equality at the top of the page is an easy concept to row in behind, and the presence of this already in a growing number of clubs following the ‘One Club’ model shows that it can work on the ground.

Facilities is a major issue and with almost all of these owned by the Gaelic Athletic Association around the country, integration should ease the path towards a greater level of access at an earlier stage of the planning cycle for fixtures in the Women’s games.

There remain issues concerning the perceived imbalance in playing numbers between Ladies football and Camogie, particularly at some local levels, but this is no different to the case in many areas between Men’s football and hurling and a way will be found to make sure that this is a win rather than a stop for the development of all levels and areas of the games.