Former Cork camogie goalkeeper Aoife Murray was out of pocket to the tune of €50,000 as a result of unrecompensed fuel costs during her inter-county playing days.
Murray, who retired from the inter-county scene earlier this year, reckons she spent approximately €50,000 on fuel during the 10 years where she commuted from Dublin to train and play for Cork.
Bar €200 received in 2006, the nine-time All-Ireland winner was paid nothing by the way of travel expenses. Her €50,000 fuel spend very much chimes with the “unsustainable” commitment of female inter-county players as outlined in today’s WGPA Levelling The Field report.
The report found that over the past four years, only 7% of female inter-county players received any form of travel expense.
“Unfortunately, Gemma Begley of the WGPA made me [calculate my fuel costs] one day. I think I went home and cried for the night,” replied Murray when asked by this newspaper if she had ever totted up the cost of fulfilling her inter-county dream.
“I did get €200 in 2006, so I have to be clear I did get some form of expenses, albeit quite random back in the boom days. I think the figure was somewhere north of €50,000 over the nine or 10 years commuting.
“There was a perception out there that I was getting reimbursed because it would be the most obvious and practical thing to think. This to me is more of an education piece that this is actually what’s happening in the current day."
WGPA executive member Gemma Begley said “it is actually scary” to contemplate how much players are spending to finance their inter-county careers. The WGPA is to step up its lobbying efforts to secure increased Government funding for out of pocket female inter-county players.
“It is certainly the extremes we do want to look after, initially anyway. That's only fairest to start looking after the players that need it most to ensure that anybody that has been chosen to represent their county, and is willing to do so, that there is no barrier for them to do so.”
WGPA officials revealed this morning that the LGFA are to pay players a mileage allowance for matchday travel during the group stages of the All-Ireland ladies football championship.