Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative applications open

Since 2014, the Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative has seen over 500 young GAA members across Ireland complete the yearlong programme, gaining a level 6 third level qualification in Youth Leadership and Community Action. This unique programme evokes and honours the values Dermot Earley epitomised and tries to foster them in a new generation of young Irish leaders. Check out the Dermot Earley National Youth Recognition Day which was held in Croke Park last May.

The GAA, Foróige and NUIG are delighted to announce that the innovative Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative applications are NOW OPEN.

Young GAA club members, male and female aged 15-18 years, in the following counties Donegal, Antrim, Dublin, Kildare, Galway, Roscommon, Offaly and Cork are now encouraged to apply. Closing date for receipt of applications is Sunday July 14th.

Each application form will need to be supported by a nomination form (marks given for nomination form). Your nominator CANNOT be a family member or relative.

To complete the online APPLICATION FORM click HERE

To complete the NOMINATION FORM click HERE

The programme will run over three modules between September 2019 and May 2020. During the programme the young GAA members will gain aptitudes in essential leadership skills in a safe and supportive environment.


Module one focuses on the individual and their leadership skills, building their self-awareness, community skills, values and communication skills.

Module two focuses on their ability to lead as part of a team enabling them to cultivate their skills further.

Module three focuses on their individual leadership aspirations and offered the participants the opportunity to lead their own project within their community from conception to completion.

Projects rolled out last year included a coaching and sporting nutrition awareness workshop for an U 14s team in Buncrana GAA; an Easter party for the Letterkenny Special Olympics bowling club; a workshop for mental health in Muff GAA; an intergenerational event for local nursing home residents as part of the Bealtaine Festival; the establishment of a Youth Tidy Town group in Offaly; a motivational event with Declan Coyle in Roscommon; the hosting of a community brunch to combat isolation amongst elderly people in Mayo; and the development of a peer education programme on concussion, mental health and player burnout in Kildare.

For more information please contact the GAA Learning and Development Officer Stacey Cahill on

Download the Dermot Early Information leaflet here




Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative?
Brought together by Foróige, the GAA, NUI Galway and the Dermot Earley family, this exciting
programme enables young people to develop the skills and qualities necessary to be good leaders,
and challenges them to use these skills for to improve society. The DEYL Initiative takes its name
from one of Ireland’s most inspirational leaders and one of Connacht’s greatest Gaelic sportsmen,
Dermot Earley (1948-2010), as tribute to his lifetime of sporting and professional achievements and
his commitment to community service. The programme has been developed as a way of exploring
vision and passion, and to enable young people to develop key skills such as planning, decision
making, critical thinking, goal setting and problem solving that are core to leadership.



What will I get out of it?
The programme enable young people to develop the skills, inspiration, vision, confidence and action
plans to be effective leaders. Young people who complete all three modules of the programme are
eligible to receive a Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action from NUI

What is expected of me?
The Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative is a year long commitment for participants. Young
people taking part in the Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative need to be interested in learning
how to become a leader, willing to participate in activities and work with others. They are required
to attend all the sessions in each module and reflect on the sessions in their own time.

How long does it take to complete a module of the programme?
Module one and two have 15 hours of workshop content plus time for reflection. The 15 hours can
be completed in several ways. For example:
• One hour a week over 15 weeks
• A few hours over a series of weekends
• Completed in one week during the summer or mid term breaks.
The format of each programme will be decided by individual facilitator teams with input from
participants. This will be decided at the first group meeting in September/October.
Module three is a 20-hour self-directed community action project. During this module young people
use their leadership skills to carry out a project that benefits their their local or global community.
During the project young people note their progress in a reflection journal and complete a portfolio
to showcase their work.

When will the programme start?
The programme will begin in September/October 2019 and run until May 2020. Young people who
apply for the Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action from NUI Galway in
2019 will graduate in October 2020.
Who is eligible to do the programme?
8 counties are participating in phase four of the Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative. Those
counties are Cork, Galway, Roscommon, Dublin, Kildare, Offaly, Donegal and Antrim.

To apply you must be:
• From one of the listed 8 counties
• Be aged 15-18 (must be 15 or over by 1st September 2019 to apply)
• Be a GAA and/or Foróige member

Can more than one young person from my club or group apply?
Yes. While a geographical spread is desirable, participants will be selected based on their application
forms. There is no limit on the amount of young people who apply per club or group.

How do I apply?
Young people need to complete the online application form and identify an adult who recognises
their leadership potential and abilities to nominate them. The nominator must then complete a
nomination form.
Both the application and nomination form are available on the GAA website:

Is there an age limit?
You must be 15-18 years of age to take part on the programme.

How much does it cost?
A €40 registration fee covers the cost of three workbooks.
Participants have the opportunity to go on to complete a Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership
and Community Action through NUI Galway. There is a €300 fee attached to the accreditation.

Who can I contact?
The GAA contact is Stacey Cahill email: Phone: 01 8193387
The Foróige contact is Bryan Gavin email: Phone: 086 8519639