Donegal GAA club launch their smoke free policy in partnership with HSE

Glenswilly's healthy initiative aims to protect younger members

Donegal GAA club launch their smoke free policy in partnership with HSE

Maresa McGettigan, left, Stop Smoking Advisor, HSE, Donnacha Gallagher, Glenswilly club's health officer, Mick Murphy, club chairman, and Fiona Boyle, Stop Smoking Advisor HSE.

In March this year, Glenswilly GAA introduced their smoke free policy, which means that smoking and vaping (use of e-cigarettes) is not permitted anywhere on the grounds at Pairc Naomh Columba.

The official policy launch of the smoke free policy was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and took place at the first home game against Four Masters on Sunday last, August 9.

Donnacha Gallagher, the club's health officer, said: “We recognise that tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke is extremely harmful to health and to the health of our children.

"We have introduced the smoke-free policy to protect children from second hand smoke, de-normalise tobacco use, encourage people to consider quitting and reduce the initiation of smoking amongst youth.

"We are delighted to launch this policy as our first initiative in our wider commitment to the health and well-being of the entire community.

"The smoke free policy is one of a range of initiatives we are implementing as part of the National Healthy Club’s Project, transforming the GAA into health and well-being hubs for all.

"I would like to thank all of the club committee and members for embracing and driving this positive change," he said.

Club chairman, Mick Murphy added: “Our health is so important these days, for all our adult members but especially for our young club members. By adopting this policy we are ensuring a healthier environment for future generations of the Glenswilly community”.

Michael Murphy, left and Donnacha Gallagher, Glenswilly Senior mens' team

Glenswilly GAA have become the third club in Donegal to introduce the smoke free policy, following in the footsteps of St. Mary's Convoy who became the first club in the county to do so, in 2016 and Milford GAA club in 2019.

Maresa McGettigan, Stop Smoking Advisor with the HSE said it is inspiring to see Glenswilly GAA leading the way and supporting the government’s vision for a Tobacco Free Ireland by 2025.

"The club is setting a positive example for all members and other clubs across the country. The introduction of the policy is timely; smoking is a risk factor for acute respiratory infections like flu and coronavirus. Quitting helps build natural resistance to all types of respiratory infection. Quitting can also reduce hand to mouth contact which decreases the risk of infection”

If you are interested in quitting smoking please contact Maresa McGettigan on (086) 0492465 or Fiona Boyle on (087) 2514790 to receive information on any of the 13 free face-to-face clinics throughout Donegal.

You can also contact or freephone 1800 201 203 for free support. You have a greater chance of quitting when you get support and use treatments to help you quit.

If you are involved in another GAA club in Donegal and are interested in smoke free grounds then why not give Maresa a call to support you with introducing this positive initiative.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email To contact Donegal Post, email To contact Inish Times, email

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.