The Littlewoods Ireland National Camogie League will proceed as scheduled this Saturday as the threat of strike action was withdrawn following the Camogie Association’s decision to opt for a split season calendar this year.
Confirmation from the Camogie Association that a split season would be implemented was prompted by the result of a nationwide poll of camogie clubs which showed a slim majority in favour of the clear separation of club and inter-county activity.
Just over 60% of camogie clubs participated in the online poll conducted by the Association, with 53% backing a split season and 47% plumping for a National League-club championship-All-Ireland championship schedule.
The latter was the approach initially favoured by Camogie top-brass, but a review of this decision was undertaken following strong criticism from the inter-county playing body, of whom 82% support a split season.
Tuesday’s U-turn means there will be no boycotting of National League games, which had been threatened by players if the National League-club championship-All-Ireland championship schedule was persisted with.
The Gaelic Players Association welcomed the Camogie Association decision and said “inter-county squads will now proceed with their games in the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues which are due to get underway this coming Saturday”.
The GPA statement added: “We thank the Camogie Association for taking the time to pause and reflect on the fixtures schedule and for their constructive engagement with us in the last ten days. We look forward to games getting underway.”
The All-Ireland Camogie Championship will now directly follow the conclusion of the National League, throwing-in on the weekend of July 3/4. The All-Ireland finals will take place on the weekend of September 11/12. Fourteen weekends of club championship activity will then run from mid-September to mid-December.
The unfinished 2020 All-Ireland club series, which had been factored into the National League-club championship-All-Ireland championship schedule, will not be completed under the split-season format.
“We would like to thank all of our members who carefully considered the two options and participated in this process,” said a Camogie Association statement.
“We have a result and a mandate from our members, which we will respect and implement. Planning will start immediately at national and county level to maximise camogie activity for all players throughout 2021.
“The next steps for the Camogie Association are to detail the fixtures structure, collaborate with our colleagues in the GPA in relation to the feedback from our clubs, and work with broadcast partners to try and ensure maximum coverage possible for all of our camogie in 2021.
“This comes on the back of welcome news from the Government yesterday that female inter-county camogie players will receive the same amount of funding as their male counterparts from 2021 onwards.
“The Camogie Association welcome this decision, and the formal acknowledgement of the contributions that the Camogie Association, camogie volunteers, and players across the club network and at inter-county level make to Irish sport, society, culture, and heritage. We will work with the Government and Sport Ireland in relation to the roll-out of this funding.”