Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Cill Mhantáin

Critical Incident Planning

About critical incident planning

Critical incident planning is the process of responding to a situation or critical incident by following 5 Key Principles during any crisis situation or critical incident.
1. Promote a sense of safety
2. Promote a sense of calm
3. Promote a sense of self-efficacy and collective efficacy (i.e. the capacity to deal with the situation)
4. Promote connectedness
5. Promote hope

What is a critical incident?

A critical incident is defined as a situation that overwhelms one’s natural capacity to respond. These are as broad and varied in their nature as any situation that can befall any individual, club, or community.

Defining a critical incident

A critical incident is any event that is outside the range of usual human experience. It is an event that causes an unusually intense stress reaction which has the emotional power to overwhelm an individual’s usual ability to cope. It may impede people’s coping mechanisms immediately or in the future following the event.
(GPA/GAA guidelines, 2014.)

Examples of some critical incidents may include:

• Death or serious injury on or off the playing field
• Exposure to the aftermath of a road traffic accident e.g. the accident scene, the victim(s)
• Personal loss or injury, real or threatened to a child or adult
• Being violently threatened
• Close encounter with death
• Suicide of a club member (this tragic situation can cause extreme distress and confusion for everyone involved. Guidelines developed by professional services highlighting the most appropriate responses following a death by suicide by sporting organisations are available. Some of this information has been included in a special section on suicide in the Appendix section of this resource.)
• A situation with excessive media interest
• A natural disaster or act of God
• Other incidents not covered above but which are associated with unusually strong emotional reactions

Critical incident plans

Below is a downloadable pdf copy of Wicklow GAA own critical incident plan.

Wicklow-GAA-County-Critical-Incident-Plan-20221027 – Updated 27th October 2022

Additionally, we have created a downloadable Microsoft Word Wicklow GAA Clubs Critical Incident Response Plan Template. This file can be downloaded and adjusted for the needs of each Club within Wicklow GAA.


Additional assistance

Please contact David Murray at for assistance in developing your club’s Critical Incident Plan.


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