Conflict is overshadowing the preparations of the Clare Intermediate Ladies Football panel ahead of their All-Ireland Final next weekend.
A round of games will take place in the adult camogie championship in Clare this weekend which means several players on the County football panel will be forced to miss their club game or risk injury one week before the final. It will be the first time in seven years that a female side from the County competes in Croke Park.
They take on Kildare next Sunday (September 25th) in Croke Park with a similar camogie clash also occurring in the Leinster County at the weekend. Semi-final clashes in the Clare SFC will take place on the same day meaning some supporters will be forced between watching their club or county. Clare LGFA feel this shows a lack of respect to their players “Very unfair making family choose. Reaching the All Ireland should be respected by all GAA entities in Clare” a comment from its official Facebook page read.
— Eimear Considine (@EimearConsidine) September 13, 2016
Camogie shooting itself in the foot.Dual players forced to choose.Camogie 2b the losers longterm https://t.co/1J7kQsgxpT
— Denise Lynch (@denlynch22) September 13, 2016
— Claire McMahon (@clairemcmahon22) September 13, 2016
— David O’Brien (@Dob_MichaelAs) September 13, 2016
Clare Camogie issued a statement on Wednesday to provide some clarification having received plenty of online criticism. It read “Clare Camogie moved to try to facilitate girls in the All-Ireland Intermediate Football Final on Sept 25th. The best solution would seem to have been to bring the game forward”.
One of the fixtures taking place this weekend involved in the Ladies Football is the meeting of Kilmaley and Clooney/Quin. The statement reveals that an agreement was reached to play the game earlier this week but the Clare management rejected this proposal.
“Clooney-Quin offered Monday September 12th which would have left the team 2 weeks to focus on the All-Ireland Final. Kilmaley were not in a position to accept this as girls would still not have been permitted to play by their football manager. This has been seen as reasonable by all parties except the football management”.
Following on from this it was proposed by Kilmaey to defer the entire championship by five weeks, their motion wasn’t seconded by any camogie club present at a meeting of the Camogie Board. “It is as a result then, that the options to hold up Camogie Championship for 5 weeks and for girls to play no game in 3 & 1/2 weeks but then play 3 games in 5 days was rejected by delegates. Delegates said we must look after all players and while we want to see Clare win on Sept 25th we must be reasonable to all girls and make it feasible that they play both codes and that offer was available”.
For Kilmaley to remain in the PK Travel Clare Senior Camogie Championship they must overcome Clooney/Quin at the weekend. Their challenge looks to be greatly weakened as Niamh O’Dea, Ailish Considine and Emma O’Driscoll are expected not to line out to avoid picking up any injury for the All-Ireland Final. O’Dea herself a dual-County player labelled the Clare Camogie Board “an embarrassment” while her club teammate Helen McMahon questioned their lack of “leadership”.
This isn’t the first instance of criticism being levelled at the Camogie Board during this year’s Adult Championship. Matches were scheduled at the same time as ties involving clubs in the Clare SHC which resulted in supporters and some parents from Sixmilebridge, Clooney/Quin and Newmarket-on-Fergus having to choose between watching their hurling or camogie teams.