Partnership to provide Breast Health Awareness to GAA clubs nationwide

UP FOR THE 'CATCH' - GAA clubs across Ireland are being asked to wear the Pink Jersey and register for education and outreach coordinator to visit clubs across the country to educate the GAA community on checking for lumps and symptoms and signs. Pictured at the launch in Croke Park were Mary Hickey (UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre), Declan Hannon (Limerick All-Ireland winning hurling captain), Niamh Rockett (Waterford camogie), Mags McAlinden (All-Ireland winning captain, Armagh footballer), Paul Geaney (All-Ireland winning Kerry footballer) and Olivia Carpenter (Breast Cancer Ireland). (Picture: Conor McCabe Photography)

UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre, Breast Cancer Ireland and the GAA/GPA have partnered together to promote Breast Health Awareness in GAA clubs across the country, through seminars nationwide to club members in their own community. This follows on from the partnership agreement launched in UPMC Nowlan Park earlier in the year.

Research from earlier this year by Breast Cancer Ireland indicated worryingly low levels across all age groups of self-checking behaviours and knowledge of the eight signs and symptoms of breast cancer, proving the sheer scale of the challenge when it comes to driving awareness and education.

Key findings show that: 75% of women still do not know how to properly check their breasts; 33% say they don’t know all of the signs and symptoms they are looking for; 46% of women say they simply don’t make time to check their breasts regularly.

With these findings in mind, the aim of the awareness programme is to encourage and educate women and men of all ages about good breast health, so that cancer can be detected early and patient outcomes improved. The educational presentations will be delivered to GAA clubs using a medical mannequin to educate participants on how to perform a self-breast examination. 


Commenting on the launch of this exciting initiative, Cork’s Mary Hickey, Director of Oncology, UPMC in Ireland, said, “The development and support of this important breast health and awareness programme is a natural fit for UPMC as a trusted health care provider and innovator.

“As official healthcare partner to the GAA/GPA, this programme is a natural fit and will help hundreds of thousands of people in our sporting communities to live healthier lives.”

Breast cancer will affect 1 in 9 women during their lifetime, with someone in the world being diagnosed every 9 seconds. Early detection is key.

To learn more about the Education and Outreach Coordinator or to register for a complimentary visit, GAA clubs are encouraged to visit the Education & Awareness section on