Diane O’Hora laments GAA’s talent drain as ‘inadequacies’ take toll

The newly former Women's GPA  will help resolve issues and annoyances which are impacting on camogie players and ladies footballers.

Former Mayo ladies football star Diane O’Hora fears many talented female GAA players are joining other sports because of "inadequacies" in how they are treated.

The Meath boss, a three-time All-Ireland winner, is hopeful that the newly former Women’s GPA will help resolve issues and annoyances which are impacting on camogie players and ladies footballers.

“If you want to get the best out of your players, they have to come first, that’s why I’m very passionate about what the WGPA is doing,” she said.

“I was a player for long enough and I’ve been put through the rough and tough, from being torn between club to county, not being treated fairly and not been listened to at times.

“You do it because you love the county, but maybe it’s the reason why ladies football or camogie lose players.

“If you look at other top sports like the Irish women’s sevens (rugby) set up who are out scouting ladies footballers, maybe we’re losing players to those kind of sports because of inadequacies in our own.

“There are scary stories about mistreatment and inequality throughout the country, but to have a women’s championship game put off a pitch because a lads’ club team decided they were going to train?

“To have both ladies teams sent home despite the fact that they had gone through all the right channels and had the pitch booked? It’s scandalous.”

She added: “There’s so many things that have happened like not having basic toilet or shower facilities, that people are afraid to talk about. It’s upsetting that those kind of things are still an issue in this day and age. I hope eventually there’ll be some level of education for players at club level, and for dual players, so they understand it’s inappropriate what’s happening and there needs to be a transparent holistic approach by everyone involved in ladies football and camogie.”

O’Hora praised Meath officials for their “progressive” approach in making player welfare a priority, while she has met with her inter-county camogie counterpart, Graham Dillon, to discuss the welfare of dual players.

“They deserve to be treated in a certain way, with respect,” said the former Down and Longford coach. “We don’t want them to be pulled from one code to the other, and put in a position to train for one team and then run off and train for another. It’s unethical.”


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