Nine Cork players — Sarah Fahy, Niamh Ní Chaoimh, Amy Lee, Katelyn Hickey, Leah Weste, Sarah Buckley, Finola Neville, Lauren Callinan, and Rebecca Walsh — who won All-Ireland senior medals last September, but did not feature from the bench in the 2015 championship, were informed last month that their request to regrade to intermediate had been rejected on the grounds that they typed their name on the relevant application form instead of signing with a pen.
An arbitration hearing, chaired by Dr Jack Anderson, at the Horse and Jockey Hotel on Thursday was attended by Cork players Sarah Buckley, Niamh Ní Chaoimh and Finola Neville, as well as leading members of the Cork County Board and Camogie Association.
It was decided after a lengthy meeting that the players’ applications be reconsidered as the official rulebook does not state that a personal signature is required. A final verdict is expected from the relevant Croke Park sub-committee within the next fortnight, but it is expected that the regrading of each of the nine players will be green-lighted.
“The outcome of the arbitration process on March 3 was that the requests for re-grading by nine Cork players will be regularised by a personal signature and will be deemed eligible for consideration by the Camogie Association’s Re-grading Committee,” said a statement released by the Camogie Association yesterday.
Cork manager Paudie Murray said he is “over the moon” that commonsense has prevailed. Cork’s second team were forced to concede their opening two games of the Division 2 National League against Meath and Antrim. Their third match is scheduled for this day week, March 13, at home to Westmeath.
“I am looking forward to getting the intermediate team back training. It has been a big distraction over the past number of weeks,” commented Murray. “I am delighted that commonsense has prevailed, eventually.”
The affected players had initially hoped that the arbitration route would not have to be pursued, but when the Camogie Association refused to engage in mediation talks towards the end of last week, the Cork camp was left with no alternative.