Media Coverage for Women's Sport
Increasing the profile of the female games has been a long-held goal and the decision to play the last two Camogie League Division One finals prior to the male equivalents at Semple Stadium and Nowlan Park is just a start.
“This is not just because Liberty came on board,” said Camogie president Aileen Lawlor. “The GAA have always been inclusive and have always helped us. It’s not always possible to have a game before a hurling game but it’s great when you’ve the same counties competing in the hurling and the camogie as that works well. We’ll continue to do that and bring our game to a higher audience.”
The process of bringing the Gaelic bodies under one administrative umbrella has been backed by all three associations and, though Lawlor spoke of a natural “synergy”, she cautioned it would be far from straightforward.
“Liam O’Neill says he won’t put a time limit on it because then somebody will say it didn’t work. It’s a work-in-progress. Myself, (Ladies Football president) Pat Quill and Liam O’Neill are in the same three-year cycle. If it’s a thing we can bring to a certain stage by the time the three of us are finished, that’d be great. We don’t know. But we’ll certainly put the wheels in motion.”
Lawlor was speaking at the Liberty Insurance Camogie Championships launch, with 24 counties competing across five grades.
Unlike last season, when every side played each other, the senior section has been split into two groups this year, something which met with the approval of Wexford’s Kate Kelly and Cork’s Anna Geary.
“I think it is going to be a benefit as it will allow some rest between games,” said Geary. “Last year we had eight games on consecutive weekends and if you were to ask that of hurlers or men’s footballers, it would be impossible because it leads to burnout and injuries. The introduction of the quarter-final as well allows teams that haven’t gone so well in the group stages to get back in and contest for a place in the final so, overall, it is a better structure.”
Cork have gained some vengeance for last September’s loss to Wexford with victory over the three-in-a-row All-Ireland champions in the league decider and added a Munster title to their list of accomplishments.
Wexford side have struggled. Defeat to Kilkenny in the recent Leinster final was their first reversal at their neighbour’s hands in nine attempts and other results such as their league loss to Dublin and Derry’s win against Offaly, All-Ireland semi-finalists last year, have been held up as proof of a growing strength in depth in the game.
“Wexford will be going for their fourth in a row,” said Lawlor. “Cork won’t want to leave it behind like they did last year. Galway were knocking on the door before that. Offaly have come on in leaps and bounds. Clare, I think, will be the dark horse. Derry are coming into this grade new after winning the intermediate. So it’s all to play for. I think 2013 will even surpass 2012.”
This article was sourced from Brendan O’Brien of the Irish Examiner.