CAMOGIE president Joan O’Flynn is hopeful the game will benefit from their standalone All-Ireland finals at Croke Park.
Traditionally camogie and the U21 hurling championship decider shared the billing at GAA headquarters each September. But this weekend, the showdowns have been split over two days – the hurlers of Galway and Tipperary facing off in Thurles on Saturday with the Gala junior, intermediate and senior showdowns dominating the Jones Road programme the next day.
O’Flynn also expressed delight at the decision of officials from the competing counties not to fix high profile domestic games on Sunday.
O’Flynn said: “Our core crowd would be around 16,000 so we’d be very happy with anything above that. If you look at attendances in women’s games, the range is somewhere between 16,000 and 22,000.
“It’s been a big help that all the hurling fixtures in the competing counties have been cancelled so there’s an opportunity for the wider hurling community within those counties to come and support camogie.
“That’s a big step forward and a recognition within those counties of the affinity between the hurling and the camogie community.”
Last year’s finals, in conjunction with the U21 decider, attracted 26,000 people but O’Flynn envisions the restructured triple-header as a chance for her code to gain even more credibility. With the intermediate final on the programme, she is excited by the festival of camogie fixed for headquarters.
“I suppose the opportunity for us is to be able to put in a third camogie final. That means that two additional teams are going to get to play in Croke Park. That’s a big bonus for us from the point of view of elevating the status of our championships. The glass is half full. This is an opportunity that comes as a result of the GAA’s decision to have the U21s played the night before. We’ve reached an accommodation. Let’s go forward on that and make the most of it.”
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