Chairman Seamus Hickey will fill the role on an interim basis.

Dermot Earley has resigned as Chief Executive of the Gaelic Players Association.

The former Kildare footballer was appointed to the role just under a year ago, but has decided to step away from the GPA, and return to work with the Defence Forces.

In a statement released by the GPA this afternoon, Earley says he enjoyed his 12 months working with the players' group, leaving now is the right decision.

"I had taken leave of absence from the Defence Forces to take on the GPA role and after almost one year in the job I felt I had a decision to make. 

"Despite having enjoyed the past year with the GPA I have come to a view that my career is with the Defence Forces. 

"It has been a difficult decision, but I believe the right one. I am very keen to be as helpful as possible as the GPA works to appoint my successor.

“I want to thank everybody for their support, their counsel and their friendship. My particular wish is that the GPA continues to thrive and that in particular our players develop to their best potential both on and off the field."

Limerick hurler and current GPA Chairman Seamus Hickey will fill the role on an interim basis. Hickey says an appointment will be made by the National Executive Council as soon as possible.

"I want to sincerely thank Dermot for all his efforts over the past year. His commitment to the GPA and to our members has been hugely impressive, both during his time as our President and more recently as our CEO. 

"We look forward to his continued support long into the future. Having spoken with Dermot in recent weeks I fully understand and respect his decision to return to the Defence Forces and continue with his career there. 

"I have agreed to take on the role of Interim CEO in the short term, and we will move now to appoint a successor as quickly as possible. Meanwhile we will all work that bit harder to help deliver the quality work of the GPA. On behalf of everyone in the GPA, I want to wish Dermot every success for the future."