Carraig na bhFear Juvenile GAA Club Child Protection Policies & Code of Behaviour 2017




  1. Mission
  2. Child Policy Statement.
  3. Code of Behaviour for Juvenile Players.
  4. Code of behaviour for Coaches and Team Mentors.
  5. Code of Behaviour for Parents and Supporters.
  6. Code of Behaviour for all persons working with young people.
  7. Club Responsibilities.
  8. Respect Campaign.
  9. How to deal with Alleged Breaches of the Code of Behaviour.
  10. Roles and Responsibilities.
  11. Complaints Procedure and Club Discipline.
  12. Safety Policy.
  13. Recruitment and Appointments.
  14. Guidelines on the use of Photographic images.
  15. Travel and Away Trips.
  16. Bullying Policy.





Appendix 1 – Registration Form

Appendix 2 – Categories and Definitions of Child Abuse

Appendix 3 – Reporting Allegations of Suspicions of Abuse

Appendix 4 – Club Officers 2015

Appendix 5 – Signing Off Form

Appendix 6 – References



Mission statement


“Carraig na bhFear Juvenile GAA Club is a Voluntary organisation. We develop and promote Gaelic games at the care of Irish identity and culture. We are dedicated to ensuring that our family of games, and the values we live, enrich the lives of our members, families and communities we serve. We are committed to active lifelong participation for all and to providing the best facilities. We reach out to and include all members of our society. We promote individual development and well-being and strive to enable all our members achieve their full potential in their chosen roles.”


1 .Child Policy Statement



Carraig na bhFear Gaa Club is committed to creating and maintaining the safest possible environment for all young people who wish to participate in our Gaelic Games and activities. We shall take all practicable steps to protect them from discernable forms of abuse, from harm, discrimination or degrading treatment and shall respect their rights, wishes and feelings.



We do this by;

  • Recognising that all children have the right to be protected from harm.


  • Ensuring that all our coaches and volunteers are carefully recruited and selected and that they accept responsibility for ensuring the wellbeing of children in their care.



  • Responding swiftly and appropriately to protect the welfare of children who participate in our games and related activities.


  • Providing parents and children with the opportunity to voice any concerns they may have.



  • Appointing a Children’s Officers in Carraig na bhFear Gaa Club.


  • Appointing a designated person in Carraig na bhFear Gaa Club who will liaise with the statutory authorities as appropriate.



  • Ensuring that all allegations of abuse of young people are confidentially dealt with in accordance the Associations guidelines for Dealing with Allegations of Abuse (Fourth Edition 2009) and with statutory guidelines and relevant legislation.


  • Reviewing the effectiveness of our child protection procedures and policies on an on-going basis.



  • Ensuring that members, coaches, team mentors, administrators, parents/guardians and spectators sign up to and adhere to our Code of Behaviour.


This Code of Behaviour addresses the minimum levels of behaviour, practice and conduct required from our:


  • Players
  • Coaches
  • Mentors
  • Supporters
  • Parents
  • Guardians
  • Referees



Everyone involved in our sports and activities should accept the roles and responsibilities that they undertake as we commit ourselves to maintaining an enjoyable and safe environment for all. The safeguarding of our members will always be a key priority as we recognise that the welfare of the child is of paramount importance in our work.





Carraig na bhFear Young Players.



Young players can benefit greatly from sports in terms of personal development and enjoyment. As part of their development our players must be encouraged to realise that due to their participation they also have a responsibility to treat others with fairness and respect. With rights there will always be responsibilities.


There will be a ‘sign-up’ procedure, whereby young players in Carraig na bhFear Gaa Club agree to abide by this Code of Behaviour and to any other policies or codes in our Club and National Governing Body.


YOUNG PLAYERS should be entitled to:


  • Be safe and feel safe.
  • Have fun and experience a sense of enjoyment and fulfilment.
  • Be treated with respect, dignity and sensitivity.
  • Comment and make suggestions in a constructive manner.
  • Be afforded appropriate confidentiality.
  • Participate in games and competitions at levels with which they feel comfortable.
  • Make their concerns known and have them dealt with in an appropriate manner.
  • Be protected from abuse.
  • Be listened to.


YOUNG PLAYERS should always:


  • Play fairly, do their best and enjoy themselves.
  • Respect fellow team members regardless of ability, ethnic origin, cultural background or religion.
  • Support fellow team members regardless of whether they do well or not.
  • Represent their team, their club and their family with pride and dignity.
  • Respect all coaches, mentors, officials and their opponents.
  • Be gracious in defeat and modest in victory.
  • Shake hands before and after a game, irrespective of the result.
  • Ensure that their coach/mentor/manager is informed in advance if they are unavailable for training and games.
  • Know that it is acceptable to talk to the Club Children’s Officer with any concerns or questions they may have.
  • Adhere to acceptable standards of behaviour and to their Club’s Code of Discipline.
  • Tell somebody else if they or others have been harmed in any way.
  • Take due care of Club equipment.




YOUNG PLAYERS should never:

  • Cheat – always play by the rules.
  • Shout at or argue with a game’s official, with their coach, their team mates or opponents and should never use violence.
  • Use unfair or bullying tactics to gain advantage or isolate other players.
  • Spread rumours.
  • Tell lies about adults or other young people.
  • Play or train if they feel unwell or are injured.
  • Use unacceptable language or racial and/or sectarian reference.







All coaches, mentors and trainers (referred to hereafter as coaches) involved with Carraig na bhFear GAA Club should ensure that young people and children benefit significantly from our games by promoting a positive, healthy and participatory approach in our work with underage players. In developing the skills levels of every player, coaches should always encourage enjoyment and fun while ensuring meaningful participation in our games and activities. Coaches should always remember that they are role models for the players in their care.



Recruitment of Coaches


All coaches working with young people and children are required to be suitable for their chosen role(s), and should be appropriately trained, qualified and supported to fulfil such roles. All persons working or volunteering for such roles will participate in agreed recruitment and selection procedures and shall attend coaching and training courses relevant to their roles.



Coaches should maintain a child centred approach:


  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person.
  • Treat each person equally regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnic origin, cultural background or religion.
  • Be positive during coaching sessions, games and other activities so that young players always leave with a sense of achievement and an increased level of self-asteem.
  • Recognise the development needs and capacity of all young players, regardless of their ability, by emphasising participation for all while avoiding excessive training and competition. Skills development and personal satisfaction should have priority over competition.
  • Develop an understanding of relevant coaching methods and have an appropriate level of coaching accreditation.
  • Do not equate losing with failure and do not develop a preoccupation with medals and trophies. The level of improvement made by young players is the best indicator of effective coaching.



Coaches should lead by example


  • Never use foul language or provocative language/gestures to a player, opponent or match official.
  • Only enter the field of play with the referee’s permission.
  • Do not question a referee’s decisions or integrity.
  • Encourage players to respect and accept the judgement of match officials.
  • Promote fair play.
  • Promote the RESPECT campaign.
  • Do not smoke while working with underage players.
  • Do not consume alcohol or non prescribed drugs immediately prior to or while young players are in your care.
  • Encourage parents to become involved in your team and Club activities wherever possible.


Conduct of coaches when working with underage players


  • Don’t shout at or lecture players or reprimand/ridicule them when make a mistake. Underage players learn best through trial and error. Young people should never be afraid to risk error so as to learn.
  • The use of any form of physical punishment is prohibited as is any form of physical response to misbehaviour, unless it is by way of restraint.
  • Avoid incidents of horse play or role play or telling jokes etc. that could be misinterpreted.
  • Never undertake any form of therapy or hypnosis, in the training of children.
  • Develop an appropriate working relationship with underage players based on mutual trust and respect.
  • Challenge bullying in any form whether physical or emotional. Bullying is not acceptable behaviour be it from a young person, coach, parent/guardian, spectator or match official.



Avoid compromising your role as a coach


Some coaching and training activities may require coaches to come into physical contact with underage players in the course of their duties. However, coaches should:


  • Be aware that any necessary contact must always be determined by the age and development of the player and should only take place with the permission and understanding of the player and in an open environment.
  • Avoid unnecessary physical contact with an underage player and never engage in inappropriate touching of a player.
  • Avoid taking coaching sessions on your own.
  • Avoid a situation where you are alone in a car or dressing room with a player.
  • Only deliver one to one coaching, if deemed necessary, in a group setting.



Best practice


  • Ensure that all players are suitably and safely attired to play their chosen sport.
  • Keep a record of attendance at training and at games by both players and coaches.
  • Be aware of any special medical or dietary requirements of players as indicated on the medical consent/registration form or as informed by parents/guardians.
  • With the expressed permission of parents/guardians be willing to keep necessary and emergency medication of players in a safe and accessible place for administration in accordance with the wishes of the parents/guardians.
  • Do not administer medication or medical aid unless you are willing to do so and have received the necessary training to administer such aid.
  • Be punctual and properly attired.
  • Rotate the team captaincy and the method used for selecting teams so that the same children are not always selected to the exclusion of others.
  • Set realistic – stretching but achievable – performance goals.
  • Encourage parents/guardians to play an active role in organising and assisting various activities for your teams and your Club.
  • Use mobile phones, if deemed appropriate, only via a group text or email system for communicating with the parents/guardians of players. Any exception to this form of group texting can only be processed with following permission from parents/guardians.
  • Do not communicate individually by text/email with underage players.
  • Do not engage in communication with underage players via social network sites.
  • Keep a record of any injuries and action subsequently taken. Ensure that another official/referee/team mentor is present when a player is being attended to and can corroborate the relevant details.
  • Ensure that all dressing rooms and the general areas that are occupied by your players and other Club personnel, prior to, during or immediately following the completion of any match are kept clean and are not damaged in any way.
  • If it is necessary to transport a child/young person in your car, ensure that they are seated in a rear seat with seat belts securely fastened.
  • Make adequate provision for First Aid services.
  • Do not encourage or permit players to play while injured.





Parents/guardians have an influential role to play in assisting and encouraging their children to fully participate in Gaelic Games, whether it is when they are playing our games or attending training or coaching sessions.


In common with coaches and Club personnel the parents/guardians of underage players registered with the club should act as role models for their children as they participate in Gaelic Games.


Parents/Guardians should encourage their child to:


  • Always play by the rules.
  • Improve their skills levels.
  • Appreciate everybody on their team, regardless of ability.
  • Maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle with regard to exercise, food, rest and play. Advice may be sought if necessary from Club officials on this issue.


Parents/Guardians should lead by example:


  • Adopt a positive attitude to their children’s participation in our games.
  • Respect officials’ decisions and encourage children to do likewise.
  • Do not exert under pressure on your child.
  • Never admonish your own child or any other child for their standard of play.
  • Be realistic in your expectations.
  • Show approval for effort, not just results.
  • Avoid asking a child or young person, ‘how much did you score today?’ or ‘what did you win by?’ or ‘what did you lose by?’ Ask them ‘did they enjoy themselves?’.
  • Never embarrass a child or use sarcastic remarks towards a player.
  • Applaud good play from all teams.
  • Do not criticise playing performances. Identify how improvements may be made.
  • Do not seek to unfairly affect a game or player.
  • Do not enter the field of play unless specifically invited to do so by an official in charge.



Parents/Guardians should:


  • Complete and return the registration/permission and medical consent forms for their child’s participation in the Club.
  • Inform the coaches, and any other relevant Club personnel, of any changes in their child’s medical or dietary requirements prior to coaching sessions, games or other related activities.
  • Ensure that their child punctually attends coaching sessions/games or other related activities.
  • Provide their child with adequate clothing and equipment as may be required for the playing of our games, including for example helmets, shin guards, gum shields etc.
  • Ensure that the nutrition/hydration and hygiene needs of their child are met.
  • Listen to what their child may have to say.
  • Show approval whether the team wins, loses or draws a game.
  • Never attempt to meet their own needs and aspirations for success and achievement through their children’s participation in games.



Parents/Guardians should assist their club by:


  • Showing appreciation to volunteers, mentors and club officials.
  • Attending training and games on a regular basis.
  • Assisting in the organising of Club activities and events as requested.
  • Respecting the rights, dignity and worth of every person and by treating each one equally regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnic origin, cultural background or religion.



Parents/Guardians have the right to:


  • Know their child is safe and to make a complaint if they believe that their child’s safety is in any way compromised.
  • Be informed of problems/concerns relating to their child.
  • Be informed if their child gets injured.
  • Complain if they have concerns about the standard of coaching.
  • Have a say in relation to decisions being made within the Club.





Young players are eager to enjoy and benefit from the support they receive from parents, guardians, friends and other members of the Club who attend our games as supporters. Active, loyal and well behaved supporters are always welcome to attend and support our games but should be aware that their conduct will reflect upon the team, players and Clubs they support.


Fellow supporters have a responsibility to ensure that all spectators conduct themselves in an acceptable and well behaved manner at all times, when attending games and competitions.


Supporters should realise and appreciate that young players are encouraged to participate in Gaelic Games so that they may enjoy themselves while also improving their skills levels.



Supporters add to the enjoyment of our games by:


  • Applauding good performance and efforts from our Club’s players and from our opponents, regardless of the result.
  • Condemning the use of violence in any form, be it by fellow spectators, coaches, officials or players.
  • Encouraging players to participate according to the rules and the referees’ decisions.
  • Demonstrating appropriate social behaviour by not using foul language or harassing players, mentors or officials.
  • Respecting the decisions of all officials.
  • Never ridiculing or scolding a player for making a mistake during games or competitions.
  • Showing respect to our Club’s opponents. Without them there would be no games or competitions.
  • Upholding the principles of FAIR PLAY and RESPECT for all.






Throughout this Code of Behaviour emphasis has been placed on the need to co-operate with and facilitate those that organise and deliver our games and activities. Referees are key people in the delivery of our games and should be respected and assisted in their roles.


Referees should always remember that they are instrumental in ensuring our games are played fairly and all participants are treated with respect.


Players, coaches, mentors, parents/guardians and other Club personnel have a key role to play in the delivery of this aspect of our Gaelic Games particularly when working with underage players. The manner in which we accept the role, authority and decisions of a referee will naturally be scrutinised very closely by our underage players.



In their capacity as referees of underage games we expect our referees to:


  • Apply the playing rules on an impartial and consistent basis.
  • Act with integrity and objectivity in all games.
  • Communicate decisions to players and team officials in an effective and constructive manner.
  • Deal with dissent firmly and fairly.
  • Work as a team with other match officials.
  • Maintain composure regardless of the circumstances.
  • Avail of assessment to improve performance and achieve excellence.


Players, coaches, mentors, supporters, parents/guardians and other Club personnel should recognise the pivotal role that referees play in our underage games and should support them in their role.


The Club


All Clubs that cater for underage players must do so with a child centred approach and philosophy that recognises that the welfare of the child is paramount.


Carraig na bhFear GAA Club must ensure that those chosen to work on the Club’s behalf with underage players have been selected following a thorough recruitment, selection, training and coaching procedure and must also provide these people with the necessary supports to enable them to fulfil their roles. The club must ensure that those chosen to work with children and young people are at all times competent and confident in their roles and responsibilities.


Carraig na bhFear GAA Club will promote quality participation by:


  • Adopting this Code of Behaviour as a basis level of agreement between the Club and their players, their mentors, parents/guardians and supporters.
  • Leading by example and ensuring that a user friendly and child centred approach is adopted in our work with young people and that equal opportunities are available for all to participate in our games and activities, regardless of an individual’s ability.
  • Developing effective procedures for responding to and recording all attendances, incidents, accidents and injuries.
  • Accessing relevant information on Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Programme and promoting relevant training in this area of health awareness for relevant Club personnel.
  • Distributing information on Anti Bullying strategies in our work with young people and by adopting and implementing an Anti Bullying statement in the Club.


Carraig na bhFear GAA Club will encourage the participation of their coaches by:


  • Agreeing the role of each and every coach or mentor working with young people.
  • Ensuring that Child Protection in Sport Awareness Training is undertaken by all persons working in an official capacity with children and young people on behalf of the club.
  • Adopting and implementing clearly defined recruitment and selection procedures when choosing coaches and other relevant personnel to work with young people.


Encourage the participation of young players by:


  • Ensuring that the types of programmes, rules, equipment, length of games and training schedules are structured to facilitate greater participation by all young players, are suitable to all age categories, and to the ability and maturity level of young players.
  • Not imposing responsibilities or roles on young people that may be inappropriate to their age.
  • Respecting the rights, dignity and worth of all players and treating them equally regardless of their age, gender, ability, ethnic origin, cultural background or religion.
  • Creating pathways for young people to participate in our games not just as players but by affording them other developmental opportunities including training to become referees, coaches etc.
  • Ensuring that when the team may travel away and stay overnight that separate sleeping facilities are provided for all adults and for young people. Similarly, for mixed groups, separate sleeping quarters for males and females shall be required.
  • Ensuring that when your group consists of both males and females, you are required to have adequate adult to member ratios and male and female coaches/mentors present.


Encourage the participation of parents/guardians by:


  • Encouraging parents/guardians to become members of Carraig na bhFear GAA Club and to make themselves aware as to the running of juvenile games and activities and to the rules and codes that direct us in our work.
  • Encouraging the participation of parents and guardians in all aspects of the Club’s activities and events and in the organising and delivery of our games.
  • Welcoming all parents/guardians to attend the games and training sessions that relate to their children. Information relating to such events should be made known to them at all times.
  • Informing parents/guardians as to the identity of their Children’s Officer. This person should be available to assist with any concerns or enquiries that parents/guardians may have regarding the general welfare and safety of children and young people in the Club.


Develop Best Practice in Club Structures and Administration by:


  • Ensuring that the Juvenile Section of the Club is structured in accordance with good practice guidelines and that young people are afforded a role in decision making at an appropriate level.
  • Ensuring that all Club members are aware of their responsibilities to all children and young people.
  • Appointing a Children’s Officer whose role shall include the monitoring of the child centred ethos of the Club and compliance with the Code of Ethics and Good Practice (Irish Sports Council/SportsNI) and with any policies and guidelines as issued by the Club, by their National Governing Bodies, or by statutory authorities and agencies.
  • Appointing a Designated person whose role shall include liaising with statutory Authorities and the relevant Governing Body in relation to the reporting of allegations, concerns and /or suspicions of child abuse.
  • Ensuring that all players are covered by their relevant injury scheme and that all premises etc. in use by your Club and players are equally covered for property/liability insurance as deemed necessary.
  • Adopting procedures that facilitate the privacy and safety of all young people in the Club and that all such procedures are maintained and regularly reviewed so as to ensure that young people feel safe and are safe in the Club.
  • Seeking the agreement of parents/guardians when their sons/daughters under 18 years of age are invited into adult squads. Boundaries of behaviour in adult groups are normally different from the boundaries that apply to underage teams and squad.





Give Respect – Get Respect is an awareness campaign that seeks to ensure that Gaelic Games are promoted and played in a positive, fair and enjoyable manner and where players, coaches, spectators and referees Give Respect – Get Respect from each other.


The RESPECT campaign applies at all levels and amongst all players regardless of age, competition or ability. The key participants in the Give Respect – Get Respect campaign are not just the players themselves but coaches, our Club, parents, referees and supporters.


The RESPECT campaign highlights the following good practice:


  • Players shake hands with their opponents before the game commences.
  • Players and coaches line up at the centre of the pitch after each game and shake hands with the referee, opposing players and coaches.
  • A designated spectators’ area should be clearly marked around the playing area.
  • At the relevant underage categories team will strive to achieve the maximum participation of all players in accordance with agreed playing models.
  • Referees and opposing team are welcomed by the host Club prior to each game.
  • A merit award, based on sporting endeavour and fair play, shall be awarded to players and teams who have upheld the RESPECT principles.
  • Adopt and implement the Code of Behaviour when working with underage players as the minimum level of agreement between the Club and players, coaches, parents, guardians and supporters.
  • Organising half time exhibition games during Club, inter County League and Championship Games that promote the principles of the RESPECT campaign in association with Cumann na mBunscol.





  • Responsible
  • Encouraging
  • Supportive
  • Positive
  • Enabling
  • Considerate
  • Tolerant


How to Deal with Alleged Breaches of the Code of Behaviour


This code of behaviour outlines the minimum levels of behaviour that we require of those that are involved in underage games and activities. The Code applies equally to underage players, coaches and mentors, to parents and guardians and to our supporters, referees and Club officials. While the promotion of the Code at Club level may be seen as the responsibility of the Club’s Children’s Officer ultimately it is everybody’s responsibility to ensure that the Code is fully implemented.


Breaches of our Code will unfortunately occur from time to time. This may happen as a result of carelessness, poor practice, lack of understanding or there may in some instances be deliberate or indeed calculated breaches of the Code.


When a minor breach of the Code is witnessed, it may be opportune and appropriate to deal with such breaches as they occur. It may, depending on the incident(s), be appropriate for a coach, mentor or other official to deal with such instances as they happen, however repeated or non-trivial breaches of the Code would require levels of intervention as outlined in steps 1 – 10.


Many breaches of our Code of Behaviour are in fact instances of poor or bad practice and may, with the co- operation of all concerned, be rectified and may not occur again. Immediate and proportionate interventions may often be the most appropriate form of action in that it highlights the need to comply with the Code and equally ensures that breaches are not left un-challenged, thus avoiding the possibility of repeated indiscretions. Certain breaches however, due to their nature, may best be dealt as breaches of rules or in more extreme circumstances may actually fall within a category of abuse and should be dealt with accordingly.


Therefore when the Code is breached or when people may refuse to adhere to its contents, certain actions may be deemed necessary to protect the integrity of our work with children and young people and ensure that they receive the best possible care and attention while participating in our games.


Dealing with an alleged breach of the Code


An alleged breach of the Code should be dealt with in a fair and impartial manner with the presumption of innocence maintained until otherwise proven. If at any stage the person against whom the breach is alleged is under 18 years of age, no formal meetings should take place with that person without the presence or permission of a parent or guardian.


Any action(s) taken should at all times be proportionate to the alleged breach that may have taken place.


Should a false allegation be made regarding a breach of the Code and should the matter be subsequently deemed to be of a malicious nature, the person making any such false allegation(s) may be subject to sanctions by the relevant Sports Governing Body and/ or by the statutory authorities.


There is however, a difference between a false allegation and an incorrect assumption or an allegation that may be unproven. Where a person may believe or observe that a breach of the Code has occurred, they should report this matter to the person in the relevant Club who may deal with such matters. While it is always preferable that allegations or concerns are received in writing, the Club is equally obliged to investigate any alleged breaches of the Code whether they are reported verbally, anonymously or in writing.



How is breach of the Code processed?


If an alleged breach of the Code of Behaviour is reported or observed, it is recommended that the Club Children’s Officer initially oversees any enquiry into such an allegation. The following should be adhered to:


Step 1  Alleged breach of the Code is reported or observed


  • Matter should be reported to the Club’s Children’s Officer.


Step 2  Confidentiality          


  • At all times the Children’s Officer must maintain the highest degree of confidentiality in their work on behalf of the Club and should only discuss the details of any alleged breach of the Code on a need to know basis with those that are required to be informed or consulted. The Club’s Children’s Officer shall record and retain a record of all discussions and actions taken.


Step 3  Initial assessments by the Club Children’s Officer


  • If possible, following assessment of the matter as reported or witnessed, the Club Children’s Officer should identify if the alleged breach would constitute an example of poor practice or a more serious breach of the Code.


Step 4  Collate the information


  • Carefully take account of what has been reported or alleged and retain a record of all actions taken on behalf of the Club. Such records may be required as part of any subsequent investigation or in the event of an appeal at a later stage.


Step 5  Inform the person accused of the alleged breach of the Code


  • Inform the person against whom the alleged breach has been made as to the nature of the breach and how it may have contravened the code.
  • Seek a response from the person.
  • Inform the person if any further action is deemed necessary or shall be recommended.



Step 6  If a breach of the Code is acknowledged


  • If a breach of the Code is acknowledged and is not deemed to be of an extreme nature (e.g. poor practice as opposed to a deliberate breach), the Children’s Officer should inform the person against whom the breach has been alleged how they may have breached the Code and that they must in future adhere to all aspects of the Code.
  • If the breach is deemed to be of a more serious or a re – occurring nature it may then be subject to reporting within the Club. Such matters, depending on the nature of each case, shall be dealt with in accordance with the principles of natural justice and Club internal disciplinary structures or in extreme circumstances may be categorised as abuse and would be dealt with accordingly. The Club Children’s Officer may not make a decision to remove a person from their role(s) due to a breach of the Code of Behaviour. Such actions may only be taken by the relevant Club Committee but may be recommended by the Club Children’s Officer, following an appraisal of the alleged breach.
  • Should any action be taken against a person deemed to have breached the Code the action taken will undoubtedly be proportionate to the level of breach that occurred. However, such action could include a verbal warning, a removal from their role for a specific period of time, a permanent removal from their role, a directive that they undertake a specified training programme, a request that the matter be dealt with as a disciplinary issue or a referral of the breach to the Designated Person dealing with allegations of abuse.
  • All such action shall be taken by the relevant Club Committee having considered any recommendations that may be made to them.


Step 7  If a breach of the Code is denied


  • If a breach of the Code is denied, the Children’s Officer must make a determination as to how to proceed and may seek the assistance of other Club officials as appropriate to the Club’s structures.
  • If the facts point to a breach of the Code, due process must allow for a response from the person against whom the alleged breach has been made.
  • If, following this procedure, it is deemed that a breach of the Code has occurred the Children’s Officer may recommend a course of subsequent action. This matter must also be reported to the relevant Club Committee and also to the person against whom the allegation has been made.
  • The relevant Club Committee shall consider the recommendation and reach a conclusion on the matter.
  • If the breach is deemed to be of a more serious or a re – occurring nature it may then be subject to reporting within the Club. Such matters, depending on the nature of each case, shall be dealt with in accordance with the principles of natural justice and Club internal disciplinary structures or in extreme circumstances may be categorised as abuse and would be dealt with accordingly. The Club Children’s Officer may not make a decision to remove a person from their role(s) due to a breach of the Code of Behaviour. Such actions may only be taken by the relevant Club Committee but may be recommended by the Club Children’s Officer, following an appraisal of the alleged breach*.
  • Should any action be taken against a person deemed to have breached the Code the action taken will undoubtedly be proportionate to the level of breach that occurred. However, such action could include a verbal warning, a removal from their role for a specific period of time, a permanent removal from their role, a directive that they undertake a specified training programme, a request that the matter be dealt as a disciplinary issue or a referral of the breach to the Designated Person dealing with allegations of abuse.


Step 8  Appeal against decision


  • If the person against whom an allegation has been made is unhappy with the outcome or decision(s) made, a right of appeal should be afforded to them in accordance with Club and Governing Body Structures.


Step 9  Informing the aggrieved party as to any decision reached following a breach of the Code


  • Any person, who due to the actions of another, may have experienced or have been the recipient of actions deemed to be in breach of the Code, is entitled to know what outcomes and decisions have been reached following investigations into such matters. Such persons should be informed in a confidential manner as to what has been agreed, but may not be part of the decision making process when determining an outcome.


Step 10 Review use of the Code in your Club


  • On an on-going basis the Club’s Children’s Officer should review the implementation of the Code of Behaviour within the Club and where necessary appraise the Club’s Executive Committee on how the Code may be promotes at all times.




*Reference has been made throughout this section to the use of ‘Club internal disciplinary structures’. Where any such actions may be required, they must be processed in accordance with the procedures as adopted by Cumann Luthchleas Gael, Cumann Camogaiochta, Cumann Peil Gael na mBan, Liathroid Laimhe CLG na hEireann or ComhairleCluiche Corr na hEireann.


It is recommended that you contact your relevant Governing Body for further information on appropriate disciplinary procedures.



4          Roles and Responsibilities


The Juvenile club’s Officers are appointed at the annual general meeting.


  • Chairperson

The role of the chairperson is to provide leadership and teamwork skills to ensure the club is run in an efficient and progressive manner.


It is the responsibility of chairperson to chair all club meetings (where possible), ensure that club rules are implemented, liase with the senior club and other bodies, and to ensure fundraising structures are in place. He/she will also encourage proper debate on issues relevant to the club.


The chairperson ensures that the AGM is held at the appropriate time each year and that proper notification is given of the AGM.


A vice – chairperson may be appointed at the AGM to deputise for the Chairperson in his/her absence.


  • Secretary


The role of the secretary is to provide the administrative skills to ensure that the club runs smoothly.


All club correspondence and documentation is held and filed by the secretary. It is also the role of the secretary to keep the club’s sports leaders and parents informed of club activities and developments and to provide notice, minutes and agendas of meetings. It is the responsibility of the secretary to ensure that children partaking in the club’s activities are registered and insured with the club. He/she will maintain a registration list for each age group.


An Assistant – Secretary may be appointed at the AGM.


  • Treasurer


It is the responsibility of the Treasurer, in conjuction with the assistant treasurer

  • To administer the funds and bank accounts of the club.
  • To keep the committee informed of the financial situation in the club.
  • To present the annual accounts at the AGM.


An Joint Treasurer may be appointed at the AGM.


  • Coaches and Selectors


The primary responsibility of the coaches and selectors for the different age groups is

  • To organise and run training sessions,
  • To arrange challenge games with other clubs, and
  • To ensure, where relevant, that all official fixtures are fulfilled.
  • Select the team while maintaining a child centered approach at all times (i.e. rotating the team captaincy and the method used for selecting the team). When selecting the team the coach/managers word is final.


Coaches and selectors are required to ensure that the children in the group for which they have responsibility have completed a club registration form and are insured.


Selectors and coaches will be expected to attend relevant coaching courses organised by the club. All coaches/mentors/managers must have completed all of the following.

  1. Foundation Level Coaching Course.
  2. Child Awareness and Code of Ethics Course.
  3. Sign up to GAA Code of Behaviour.
  4. Complete Garda Vetting.





Parents and guardians are welcome and encouraged to become involved in the club either as coaches or officers (sports leaders) or by providing assistance and support, for example, by attending matches or assisting in travel arrangements.


Parents are asked to liase with sports leaders and ensure that children are properly registered with the club sign up to and abide by the club’s Code of Behaviour.


Parents/Guardians are also asked to involve themselves in the fundraising activities of the club.


  • Club Children’s Officer


Persons appointed to ensure the recognition and development of a child and youth centred ethos within the Club and to act as the link between the children/young people and adults.

The Club Children’s Officer should:

  • Promote greater awareness within the Club of the GAA Code of Best Practice in Youth Sport and Carraig na bhFear GAA Code of Behaviour.
  • Make all coaches/mentors etc aware of the need to attend the appropriate training courses particularly Child Awareness/Code of Ethics Course.
  • Ensure, in as far as possible, that all

Players/Coaches/Mentors/Parents/Officials/Spectators adhere to the Code of Best practice for Youth sport and Code of Behaviour of Carraig na bhFear GAA Club.

  • Develop good practice procedures in the recruitment and selection of persons working with young people in the club.
  • Assist with the distribution of Garda Vetting within the club.
  • Monitor together with team mentors/coaches any significant drop out rates or lack of attendance of underage players and report accordingly to the Club Committee.
  • Maintain on – going contact with the County Boards Children’s Officer.


Club Children’s Officer do not have the responsibility to investigate or validate child protection allegations within the club.


  • Club Designated Person


Persons appointed at Club level who are responsible for reporting allegations or suspicions of child abuse to the Statutory Authorities. This persons will also report such allegations as appropriate to the relevant committee within the Association.

The Club Designated Person should;

  • Have detailed knowledge of the GAA Code of Best Practice in Youth Sport and the GAA Guidelines for Dealing with Allegations of Abuse document (Fourth Edition 2009).
  • Have knowledge of the Code of Ethics Good Practice for Children’s Sport (Irish Sports Council and Sport Northern Ireland).
  • Have knowledge of statutory guidelines and relevant legislation as they relate to child protection and welfare of young people.
  • Have knowledge of definitions, categorisation and indicators of abuse.
  • Be familiar with and able to carry out reporting procedures as outlined in the GAA Guidelines for Dealing with Allegations of Abuse (Fourth Edition 2009).
  • Communicate with parents and external agencies as appropriate.
  • Assist with and identify the need for Code of Ethics training within the Club and other appropriate training in consultation with the Club’s Children’s Officer.


It is important to note that the Designated Officer does not have a counselling or therapeutic role or a responsibility for investigating or validating child protection concerns within their Club.


All investigations of alleged abuse are carried out by relevant Statutory Authories.



  • Complaints Procedure and Club Discipline for Carraig na bhFear GAA Club.


  • Juvenile Disciplinary Procedure

Misconduct by players will result in a warning issued by a coach, selector or club official. If this misconduct is repeated, minor sanctions, such as a time out from a training session will be invoked. If the misconduct continues the child’s parents will be informed or the coach/mentor may request a parent/guardian to collect their child from training or play. This action is appropriate where a player has continued to offend, does not respond to the instructions of the coach, has wilfully damaged club property or property of visiting clubs or teams or where the player has brought the team or club into disrepute during training sessions, match or other organised events. Examples of such serious behaviour are: striking another player/officer of club, using repeated bad language, bullying or refusal to abide by the Clubs Code of Behaviour. Also inappropriate use of a mobile phone ( i.e. taking inappropriate pictures in a dressing room or anywhere else) will be considered a serious offence by Carraig na bhFear GAA Club.


Where a serious problem has occurred the coach may refer the incident to the Club Children’s Officer who will review all matters and may decide to meet the parents/guardians with the coach to try to resolve the difficulties. Where the problem is not resolved the sanctions outlined below may be imposed.

  • Issue warning as to future behaviour
  • Suspension from training and/or matches.
  • Suspension from club teams.
  • Suspension from club.
  • Expulsion from club.



  • Stage 1 (informal complaint)


Carraig na bhFear GAA will endeavour to deal will all informal/verbal complaints as soon as possible. A complaint may be made to the Clubs Children Officer, Designated Person or a member of the Committee. All complaints will be noted and kept on file.

The clubs first course of action will be to encourage the complainant to speak directly to the person they have an issue with in a calm and non-aggressive manner. If the issue cannot be resolved then a member of the committee or the Children’s Officer (if deemed appropriate) may mediate to try to resolve the issue.

If there are numerous complaints about a club member/coach/parent/player etc. the club may bring the matter to the Disciplinary Committee to resolve it.


  • Stage 2 (formal complaint)

If the complaint cannot be resolved at the first stage (informally) then the complaint must be put in writing and given to the Clubs Children’s Officer or a member of the Club Committee. The complaint will be forwarded to the Disciplinary Committee to resolve the problem.





  • Disciplinary Committee


The Disciplinary Committee will be made up of the Clubs Committee, Children’s Officer, Designated Person and the Clubs Head Coach.

If the complaint is about any of the above mentioned people then that person cannot be part of the Disciplinary Committee.

The complaint shall be responded to in writing within 2 weeks.

If the complaint involves suspected abuse then the Procedure for Reporting Allegation of Child Abuse shall be implemented.

The Disciplinary Committee shall hold a meeting to discuss the complaint.

The Disciplinary Committee shall inform the person whom the complaint is being made against in writing. They may provide a response either verbally (at a meeting with disciplinary committee) or in writing. They may be accompanied by a friend or colleague.

All process will be clearly and accurately recorded at every stage.

All information from the process written or verbal will be kept confidential.


When dealing with a complaint it is important to be clear about:

  • The particular incident of concern
  • Any previous incidents taken into account
  • Any remedial action to be taken, e.g. an apology
  • Any new behaviour expected
  • And finally what will happen if the arrangement agreed are not adhered to.


Following its deliberations the disciplinary committee may issue any of the following sanction as it deems necessary:

  • Issue warning as to future behaviour
  • Suspension from training and/or matches.
  • Suspension from club.
  • Expulsion from club


  • Appeals Procedure


A finding of the disciplinary committee may be appealed to an Appeal Committee made up of the officers from the senior clubs.



  • Safety Policy


The club shall endeavour to provide a safe environment for young people at all times. Every effort will be made to eliminate all hazards.


It is recommended that all selectors/coaches undertake a first aid training course.

Selectors/coaches are to have access to relevant emergency and parent contact numbers at all sessions.

Injuries and dangerous occurrences are to be reported by managers to the match referee and the Club Secretary.

In the interest of safety, the use of chewing gum is prohibited during all club training sessions and matches.

Safe behaviour on and off the field will be promoted by the club.


  • Recruitment and Applications


Club officers and coaches are nominated and appointed at the club’s AGM.

Additional coaches may be appointed during the year if nominated by the club’s officers and confirmed at a committee/monthly meeting.


As and from January 2015 all officers and sports leaders who have not previously served with the club must complete Code of Ethics Training Course, Foundation Level Coaching Course, sign up to GAA Code of Behaviour (must be complied with immediately) and Garda Vetting (must be complied with immediately).



8          Guidelines on the use of photographic images.


  • Carraig na bhFear GAA proposes the following safeguards and guidelines to ensure that we minimise the risk or threats that inappropriate use of photographs or the recording of images may pose to our young people.
  • Carraig na bhFear GAA will seek parental permission to photograph our players for any sports related activities on an annual basis on our registration forms.
  • All children/young people featured in recordings/photos must be appropriately dressed.
  • The photograph or recording will focus on the activity rather than a particular young person.
  • No personal details relating to the young person will be revealed as accompanying materials to the photograph or recorded image.
  • Parents and spectators taking photographs/recordings should seek permission in advance from the Club and should also be prepared to identify themselves if requested and state the purpose for their photography/filming. If Club personnel are unhappy about any matter relating to such photography the permission granted should be withdrawn immediately.
  • Mobile phones with cameras must not be used in dressing rooms.



9          Travel and Away Trips


When travelling away with young people:

Separate permission forms must be signed by parent/guardian containing emergency contact numbers.

A meeting with parents and participants is useful to communicate travel times, competition details, other activities, gear requirement, medical requirement, special dietary needs and other necessary details.

Alcoholic drink, smoking or any other illegal substances are forbidden to players.

Young people should be under reasonable supervision at all times and should never leave the venue or go unsupervised without prior permission.

Make drop off and collection times clear to mentors, parents/guardians and to young people.

Ensure the use of safety belts.

Coaches/mentors should avoid being alone with any child. This especially applies if travelling by car. If you have to transport an individual player for any reason. Put them in the back seat and get parental consent.

Coaches/mentors should remain in pairs at the drop off point until all young people are collected after trips away.



10        Bullying Policy


Carraig na bhFear Gaa Club will not tolerate bullying in any form. The Club’s Anti-Bullying Policy may be summarised as follows in line with the Irish Sports Council Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport and the GAA Code of Best Practice in Youth Sport.




Carraig na bhFear GAA will endeavour to:



– Raise the awareness within our club that bullying is unacceptable.

– Encourage children, coaches/mentors and parents/guardians to report  bullying to the Clubs Children’s Officer. The Club will use our Complaints procedures to address the problem.

– Carraig na bhFear GAA wishes to obtain the co-operation of parents/guardians to counter bullying.


Bullying behaviour can be defined as repeated aggression be it verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against others. It is behaviour which is intentionally aggravating and intimidating and occurs mainly among children in social environments such as schools, sports clubs and other organisations working with young children. It includes behaviour such as teasing, taunting, threatening, hitting or extortion by one or more children against a victim. It is the responsibility of the coaches/mentors to deal with bullying that may place in the organisation. Incidents of bullying will be dealt with immediately and not tolerated under any circumstance.


Signing Off Form for Acceptance and Understanding of Carraig na bhFear Juvenile GAA Club Child Protection Policy and Code of Behaviour



“I have read the Club’s Child Protection Policies and Code of Behaviour and agree to abide by the guidelines as set out in the document.”



Signature of Player : ___________________________________________________


Print Name :__________________________________________________________




Signature of Parent/Guardian*__________________________________________


Address : ____________________________________________________________


Contact No. __________________________________________________________


Print Name : _________________________________________________________


Date :________________________________________________________________




*Please note that the person signing the parent / guardian section must ensure that they have parental responsibility for the child.



Appendix 2


Categories and Definitions of Child Abuse


Child abuse has generally been defined into four main categories:


Neglect, Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse and Sexual Abuse. A child – defined as a person under 18yrs of age who is not or who has not been married – may at any time be subjected to more than one form of abuse.




Neglect is normally defined in terms of an omission, where a child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth , hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, or medical care.

Neglect generally becomes apparent in different ways over a period of time rather than at one specific point. For instance, a child who suffers a series of minor injuries is not having his / her needs met for supervision and safety. A child whose ongoing failure to gain weight or whose height is significantly below average may be deprived of adequate nutrition.

A child who consistently misses school may be deprived of intellectual stimulation. The threshold of significant harm is reached when the child’s needs are neglected to the extent that his / her well-being and/or development are severely affected.


Emotional Abuse


Emotional abuse is normally to be found in the relationship between a caregiver and a child rather than in a specific event or pattern of events. It occurs when a child’s needs for affection, approval, consistency and security are not met. It is rarely manifested in terms of physical symptoms.

Children show signs of emotional abuse by their behaviour (for example , excessive clinginess to or avoidance of the parent/ carer), their emotional state (low self esteem, unhappiness), or their development (non-organic failure to thrive). The threshold of significant harm is reached when abuse interactions become typical of the relationship between the child and parent/carer.



Physical Abuse


Physical abuse is any form of non-accidental injury that causes significant harm to a child, including:

  1. shaking
  2. use of excessive force in handling
  3. deliberate poisoning
  4. suffocation
  5. munchausen’s syndrome by proxy (where parents fabricate stories of illness about their child or cause physical signs of illness)
  6. allowing or creating a substantial risk of significant harm to a child


Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used by another person for his/her gratificationor sexual arousal, or for that of others, for example:

  1. exposure of the sexual organs or any sexual act intentionally performed in the presence of a child
  2. intentionally touching or molesting of the body of a child whether by a person or object for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.
  3. Masturbation in the presence of a child or involvement of the child in the act of masturbation
  4. Sexual intercourse with the child, whether oral. Vaginal or anal
  5. Sexual exploitation of a child
  6. Consensual sexual activity between an adult and a child under 17years. In relation to child sexual abuse, it should be noted that, for the purpose of the criminal law, the age of consent to sexual intercourse is 17years. This means that, for example, that sexual intercourse between a 16year old girl and her 17 year old boyfriend is illegal, although it might not be regarded as constituting child sexual abuse.




Appendix 4


Club Officers 2015 – Contact Details



Name Role Telephone E-mail  
Tony Dunne Chairman 087 – 616 7890
Maria Murphy Secretary 087 – 764 1514
Eoin Crowley Treasurer 087 – 226 2047
Danny Quealey PRO 087 – 283 8054
John Doran Children’s Officer 087 – 220 8699
Dan Crowley Designated Officer 087 – 974 5202
John Hayes Texting Officer 086 – 261 1942