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GAA stars unite to tackle social issues

The 'Gaelic Voices for Change' group are due to take part in an all-Ireland solidarity sleep-out next month in a bid to draw attention to the homelessness crisis in Ireland. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA

A GROUP of GAA stars have united to voice their support for the most vulnerable in society.

'Gaelic Voices for Change' includes a number of current and former inter-county football, hurling and camogie players who are "passionate about making a difference".

The new player-led social movement have identified the housing and homeless crisis as priorities as well as mental health, gambling and racism.

Members of the group include Tyrone footballer Gemma Begley, Tipperary hurlers Brendan Maher and Patrick Bonner Maher and Waterford hurler Noel Connors.

The group are due to take part in an all-Ireland solidarity sleep-out next month in a bid to draw attention to the homelessness crisis in Ireland

Already over 150 county players and past players have signed up for the sleep-out, which will take place in Belfast, Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Portlaoise, Waterford, Wexford and Carlow on December 16.

Funds raised will go towards the Peter McVerry Trust, Simon Communities, Focus Ireland and the Capuchin Day Centre.

Cork footballer Valerie Mulcahy said: "I'm delighted to support this campaign. I feel like it's important to use our voices as players and help those that are vulnerable in our society, not turn our back on them.

"That is why I am taking part and doing what I can to help.

"It's not acceptable to have people homeless in Ireland. Gaelic Games are built on communities, with a collective sense of belonging and supporting your neighbour.

"This sleepout is a wider expression of that ethos by the players involved, extending a helping hand to others in our community."

The group are appealing for help with tea and coffee, food, sleeping bags, music and entertainment and fundraising in each of the sleep-out locations.

For further information, please visit www.gaelicvoicesforchange.com

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