Bríd McNamara, who stepped down as public relations officer of Clare camogie at the board AGM on December 5, has revealed that she was the subject of abusive and explicit text messages during her time in the post.
She said many of the messages were too graphic to detail but admitted that some were critical of the level of media coverage of camogie in Clare — suggesting that there was too much.
The last message was sent on the weekend of November 27, when Scariff-Ogonnelloe contested an All-Ireland junior camogie final.
“I was very shocked at the first couple and at the nature of some of them, which were explicit,” said McNamara.
“I was female and sports journalism is regarded as being male. Suggestions were being made as regards what favours were given to garner the coverage.
“The questions I’d like to ask are: ‘What do you do yourself in the GAA? Are you an armchair supporter or do you get out there and do something?’” McNamara told The Clare Champion.
“The texts are coming from a few individuals. You can laugh them off but it is disappointing to see that. This is 2016. It’s the centenary of a very fine moment in our history.
“Women were to the fore back in 1916 in the Rising. Women in Clare are coming to the fore in sport and that there are archaic, Neanderthal opinions and people objecting to coverage of women in sport is disappointing,” said the Ruan women.
Many of the messages suggested that camogie was receiving local media coverage in Clare at the expense of GAA.
McNamara, who served as PRO for six years, said she received practical and consistent support from the GAA during her time in the post.
“The support from Clare GAA that I and Clare camogie have received is superb. I cannot speak highly enough of Syl O’Connor, Seán O’Halloran, and Tom Sheehan in Bórd na n-Óg.
“If I ever rang them for advice, they were always there. There is a good relationship between the two organisations but then you get this tripe coming in on text messages.”
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