On Friday, ten teams were removed from the All-Ireland Intermediate and Junior camogie Championships after the Camogie Association received a directive from the Department of Sport.
Counties were informed that they would only eligible to enter one team into this year’s All-Ireland Camogie Championships after guidelines informed the Camogie Association that due to public health guidance under Level 5, sporting organisations would be ordered to limit the number of teams entered.
The decision is set to affect over 300 players from the ‘second’ teams of Galway, Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny and Tipperary in the Intermediate championships and Offaly, Wexford, Waterford, Limerick and Clare from the Junior championship.
There has been a huge sense of frustration in the camogie community over the decision headed by Catherin Martin. Martin, who is the Minister of Sport, previously told Her Sport that she is determined to increase the participation of girls and women in sport.
Her Sport caught up with Adrian O’Sullivan from Women’s Hurling to discuss the controversial decision.
“The Camogie championship is unique amongst the Gaelic Games championships at inter-county level in that out of the four, it’s the only one that has ‘second’ teams,” O’Sullivan explained.
“There’s a couple of reason’s for that. There isn’t the same participation levels in camogie as there is in the other Gaelic sports – not all of the counties have teams. So to have meaningful competitions traditionally these second teams have always played.”
“The reason there is uproar over it is obviously there is such a massive issue with the drop out of females in sport participation, especially after the age of 18. It’s felt that it’s a crazy decision with everything that’s gone on to promote women in sport. To deny these athletes that want to play, something like nearly 300 players, is really disappointing.”
“It’s a balancing act for the Government but like a lot of things communication would usually solve the problem. It’s the lack of communication, the lack of clarity and the fact that the competition has already started has just caused the anger over it.”
You can watch the full interview discussing the impact of the pandemic on camogie, dissecting and discussing the decision to remove ten teams from the championship and plenty more in the video below.