Gaelic Football

Teenage Footballer Writes To Sports Minister ‘It’s Time That We Are Treated Equally To Our Male Counterparts’

Moate Community School footballer, Shannon Mulvihill, has written to the newly appointed Minister for Sport, Catherine Martin, to highlight her frustration and disappointment at the cancellation of the LGFA All-Ireland Schools Senior ‘A’ football final.

The transition year student has called for intervention after the Ladies Gaelic Football Association took the decision to cancel the Lidl Post Primary Schools Competitions, along with the LGFA Interprovincial competition, the All-Ireland U14 championship, Féile na nÓg and Féile Skills.

In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, the LGFA made the decision on May 24th. As a result, the decider between Moate CS and Loreto secondary school Clonmel will not take place.

The Moate CS management team wrote to the LGFA, urging them to reconsider their decision to and instead seek a date for the final later in the year. This was followed up by pleas from the Moate CS captain and vice-captain Róisín Ennis and Emma Kelly.

After falling on deaf ears, Mulvihill has decided to take matters to Catherine Martin, the newly appointed Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport & the Gaeltacht.

In an open letter to the Minister, Mulvihill emphasised the hypocrisy as the Leinster Schools SF ‘A’ boys final between St Joseph’s Rochfortbridge and Naas CBS went ahead on Friday July, 17.

Mulvihill wrote:

“This decision, made by the LGFA, is deeply upsetting not only for the two teams but women in sport in general as it shows that men once again are given priority over us, even when if right was right, the All-Ireland would have precedence over the Leinster final. This decision doesn’t give much hope to us or the generations of girls in sport yet to come as it appears that these notions apparently will never change.”

“This is our school’s first ever Senior All-Ireland to ever be in, and will be the greatest sporting achievement many of us will ever have, and one of the most high profile games in the country as it is the two best girls senior secondary school Gaelic teams in the country playing.

“We were all heartbroken as all of our hard work throughout the year seemed to go to waste. We have also tried to get the decision made by the LGFA changed but unfortunately it hasn’t worked. However since then we have progressed to the stages of reopening the country and we are due to head into Phase 4 on August 10th. As of now we have resumed contact training and challenge matches with our clubs and our club championships are beginning in the next two weeks. In light of this I see no reason as to why this one match, this one All-Ireland final, probably one of the most important sporting moments of our lives, cannot be played, especially since the boys Leinster final is going ahead.

“There are only two differences between our game and the boys game: 1. Theirs is a Leinster final, ours is an All-Ireland final; and 2. They are boys, we are girls.

“The fact that being a girl means that we don’t get treated the same or get the same opportunities as our male counterparts in life and in sport is honestly so disappointing.

“As I’m sure you Catherine Martin, as Minister for Sport, does not support nor stand for sexism and discrimination in sport, that you will do something about the decision to not have our All-Ireland played, since we are already back playing and training with our clubs, and that the boys Leinster final is going ahead. I will be waiting anxiously for a response as I’m sure you, as much as ourselves, would like to see justice for women not only in sport, but in general.”

HerSport Editor

Her Sport is a platform giving girls and women a voice in sport. Our mission is to level the playing field through increasing visibility, education and creating a cultural shift.
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