It’s the first time Corkery’s publicly spoken so passionately about the dual star situation, which sees another 14-time All-Ireland medal winner in Rena Buckley and Maebh Cahalane left with no choice but to play both games on Saturday coming, despite their best attempts to get fixtures changed.
CORK GAA star Briege Corkery has slammed both the Ladies Football and Camogie Associations for their treatment of dual players.
The 14-time All-Ireland medal winner is in a predicament this Saturday when the Cork senior camogie team are in action at 2pm in the All-Ireland qualifiers against Offaly in Páirc Uí Rinn, while the footballers are in action in the Munster SFC final against Kerry in Mallow at 6pm. However it’s not the first time such fixture clashes have happened.
“Maybe we’re just being paranoid, but we’re wondering if they’re trying to squash out the dual players. Are they trying to force us into making a decision so one team will be at a disadvantage? I don’t know, maybe it is just paranoia, but either way it’s a disadvantage if we’re already after playing a game in Páirc Uí Rinn and then have to travel to Mallow for a second game after,” said the 2014 All-Ireland-winning Cork ladies football captain.
“Both Rena and myself made attempts to get one of the games changed. We’ve written letters to both associations and the Munster Football Council, but unfortunately it’s not possible to change anything and the three of us are now in a predicament whereby we don’t want to leave either the football or camogie team down.
“But this happened in 2012 also when we played Kilkenny in a camogie game in Ballincollig at 2pm, before having to rush to Páirc Uí Rinn to play in a Munster senior football final, and we were assured then it wouldn’t happen again. But, this year already there’s been three fixtures that have clashed, including with the National Football League final and Munster Senior Camogie Championship final on the same day,” she said today in a radio interview with Cork 96FM’s Opinion Line.
“It’s hard to make a decision and it’s unfair on players who have been training all year. It wouldn’t have happened I’m sure if it was with men’s teams but apparently Kerry didn’t want to move the Munster SFC final from this Saturday to Sunday which is fair enough too, because at the end of the day these clashes should never have happened.
“The master plans by the Camogie and the Ladies Football associations are made out in the previous November by all all accounts so it just shouldn’t happen,” said Corkery.
“The WGPA tried to get involved and sort things out, and Rena was speaking to the chairperson of the WGPA, Aoife Lane, who tried her best to help but again it was to no avail.
“There’s another clash later in the year again so hopefully by then things will be sorted out. If we get to the quarter-final of the ladies football championship, it’s on the same day as the semi-final of the camogie, if we manage to get there as well, but these clashes just shouldn’t be happening.
“I don’t want to put the blame on one organisation over the other because in my eyes they’re both to blame. They talk about women in sport growing in strength, but there’s no way it’s going to grow in strength if our games are being fixed for the same day. Our parents too have to decide what game they’ll go to and they’re our loyal supporters, we need them, and it’s tough on them also,” she said.