Camogie Association insist it's impossible to run All-Ireland Minor Championship in 2020

Camogie Association insist it's impossible to run All-Ireland Minor Championship in 2020
Isobella Sheehan is tackled by Greta Hickey as Cork beat Clare in the 2019 All-Ireland Camogie Minor A Championship Final. Photo: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

A Camogie Association statement released to the Irish Examiner indicates there will be no rowing back on the decision to cancel this year’s All-Ireland Minor Camogie Championship.

The decision to scrap this year’s Minor Championship, the opening two rounds of which were played in February and March, has been met with widespread opposition since it was announced on Monday evening.

Cork manager Jerry Wallace, in a letter to Camogie Association Ard Stiúrthóir Sinéad McNulty, described the decision as age discrimination.

An online petition to have the competition reinstated has garnered almost 2,000 signatures.

But despite this groundswell of public support, it appears the Camogie Association will not be backtracking on its initial decision.

Contacted by the Irish Examiner, a Camogie Association spokesperson gave no indication that the decision to cancel the All-Ireland Minor Championship will be reviewed, much less reversed.

The Camogie Association spokesperson said that “difficult decisions have had to be made so as to maximise the opportunities for all members of the Association to participate in camogie in the remainder of 2020”.

One of the reasons cited for the cancellation of the All-Ireland Minor Championship is the crossover of minor players who are also involved with their county junior, intermediate, or senior set-up.

Running the Minor Championship concurrent to the All-Ireland Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Championships during a truncated inter-county window is, according to the association, “not possible”. Minor competitions will instead be organised on a provincial basis.

The Camogie Association statement in full reads: “Unfortunately, due to the disruptions to this year’s calendar as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the difficult decision was ultimately made to cancel the All-Ireland stages of the 2020 minor championships. Provincial minor championships, however, will take place.

“In light of the challenges posed by COVID-19, the focus of the Association has been to firstly return our game to activity at club level, at all ages, which will take place from now until mid-October as outlined in the ‘Safe Return to Gaelic Games’ roadmap. This will allow all members of the Association to have the opportunity to participate in the game this year once it is safe for them to do so.

“The focus at a national level has been to provide a program of games to all members, across all levels of the Association as best as possible in 2020. This has required many competitions to be altered and, unfortunately, several competitions cannot be completed in 2020.

“Given the limited timeframe in which to run competitions at all levels in the remainder of 2020, it is not possible to run this year’s All-Ireland minor championships outside of provincial level, particularly given the crossover of many minor teams with adult intercounty teams which would also be occurring during the intercounty window. The minor championships will still take place at a provincial level to facilitate a program of games to this age group.

“We appreciate that the cancellation of many competitions this year is of great disappointment to those involved. However, due to these unprecedented times, many such difficult decisions have had to be made so as to maximise the opportunities for all members of the Association to participate in camogie in the remainder of 2020.”

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