Cork and Dublin club fixtures to clash with Women’s football final
County Boards unwilling to alter fixtures of male hurling ties
Cork and Dublin captains, Roisin Phelan and Sinead Goldrick at Croke Park yesterday to promote the Women’s All-Ireland Senior Football final. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.
Though the women’s All-Ireland football final was set in stone for the last Sunday in September, both Cork and Dublin county boards have scheduled senior men’s hurling championship fixtures in direct opposition.
“It’s unfair on those people – boyfriends, friends and family – not being in a position to come along to support the girls,” said Pat Quill, the GAA ladies football president.
It means that Sinéad Goldrick will lead the Dublin ladies out against defending champions Cork. This at the same time her boyfriend, inter-county hurler David Treacy, plays for Cuala against Ballyboden St Enda’s in the Dublin club championship quarter-final at O’Toole Park in Crumlin.
A big event
“It highlights that there needs to be more collaboration between county boards to make sure that fixtures aren’t drawn at the same time as an All-Ireland final,” he said.
Ballyboden have three women on the Dublin side, while Cuala are represented by Martha Burns.
“It’s taken away supporters that would have wanted to come to the ladies final,” Goldrick added.
The Wexford county board changed club fixtures to accommodate the women’s junior final against New York, which also takes place in Croke Park on Sunday.
“That relationship with the GAA fixtures, so as not to clash with our All-Irelands, has improved significantly,” Quill added.
“It is about respect and support of one another.”
However, when the Dublin and Cork club fixtures were mentioned to Quill, he responded: “That’s unfortunate. I’m surprised again because where there’s a will, there’s a way.
“Of course it’s clashing, I know, with the hurling replay possibly. We appealed to them. That’s all we can do. We can’t make them change.”
It was also put to Quill that this highlights the gender inequality that still exists in Irish sport.
“It will take time, we are a young organisation, for that to change.”
18,000 tickets have been sold for Sunday. The target is to match 2013’s 25,000 attendance.
Last night Dublin chairman Andy Kettle explained the decision of his county board’s fixture committee.
“The decision was taken not to go against the All-Ireland hurling replay” – Tipperary v Kilkenny at 5pm on Saturday – said Kettle. “That only left Sunday.”