Former Cork ladies footballer Juliet Murphy has said Leeside players are right to threaten strike if the fixtures clash facing the county’s dual players is not resolved.
The eight-time All-Ireland winner admits to being “completely intolerant” of dual clashes continuing to arise and cannot understand why the LGFA and Camogie Association do not engage in meaningful communication prior to the publication of their respective championship schedules.
With two fixture clashes resolved in recent weeks, Saturday, November 28 is now the sole date where Cork’s five dual players — Hannah Looney, Libby Coppinger, Meabh Cahalane, Fiona Keating, and Ciara McCarthy — may have to decide between codes as both All-Ireland semi-finals are fixed for that day.
There is anger within the Cork camogie camp at the LGFA fixing their All-Ireland semi-finals for November 28 when they knew the Camogie Association had already settled on this date for their penultimate round games.
Murphy said such clashes are nothing new, recalling occasions where her old team-mates Mary O’Connor, Angela Walsh, Briege Corkery, and Rena Buckley were faced with two games on the same day.
After 15-plus years of dual players being poorly treated, it is time, Murphy declared, for players “to take a stand”.
Cork camogie defender Laura Treacy revealed earlier this month the panel are willing to pull out of the 2020 All-Ireland championship if there is no resolution to the fixture clashes affecting the county’s dual players.
Murphy is hopeful it doesn’t come to that, but can understand why the players have threatened to walk away from the championship.
“I am completely intolerant of [fixture clashes] because it is a desperate situation,” said the three-time All-Ireland winning captain.
“Your resource is your players. Of any association, they are your asset.
“In this case, it is a shared asset, so it needs to be looked after and minded.
“At Congress for both the LGFA and Camogie, [a dual motion] was not passed. I don’t know who are the people behind these decisions, but it would appear to me it is mostly administrative personnel behind these decisions, and not players. Players need to have a voice, they need to be listened to. And they need to be looked after.
“The players really have to take a stand here, and their team-mates will have to support them in this because it is just not good enough.
“Given the amount of years we have had this, certainly a decade and a half, I don’t know why the associations aren’t making more of an effort to improve relations to ensure this doesn’t happen.”
The travel expenses paid to female inter-county players — or lack thereof — resurfaced again last week after another three-time All-Ireland winning captain, Sinéad Aherne, revealed the Dublin ladies do not receive a red cent in travel expenses.
Male inter-county players, by way of comparison, are being paid a reduced mileage allowance of 50 cent during this truncated inter-county season.
Murphy doesn’t believe the two associations have the finances to recompense female players and can’t see increased Government funding for travel expenses being prioritised.
“I assume whatever funding comes from Sport Ireland towards the LGFA is well used at the minute and I don’t know if the Government have a capacity to give money towards [travel expenses]. I would say it is very far down the priority list. If it wasn’t down the priority list, it certainly is now.”
Casting an eye on the All-Ireland senior championship commencing this weekend, the six-time All-Star said Dublin remain the team to beat.
“You’d never write off Cork. Cork have not been that far away from Dublin the last few years. I suppose I do think at times the team is lacking something, and I’m not sure what that is. Maybe it has been just a little bit of luck.”