Páirc Uí Chaoimh prepares to host camogie and ladies football fixtures

The Cork County Board says the first ladies football or camogie game in the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh “will fall into place” and is now a matter of how fixture programmes integrate.

At the launch of the Cork GAA Strategic Plan 2018-2020, board senior administrator Diarmuid O’Donovan said lack of facilities had been an issue in Páirc Uí Rinn, but acknowledged a camogie or ladies football game in the new stadium would send a strong positive message.

“It would be. At this point the focus has been on getting the place open and over the next while we’ll see how fixtures pan out for next year.

“We can now do it — we couldn’t do it up in Páirc Uí Rinn given the way we had double-headers in the national league. It was a non-runner because changing facilities and so on weren’t available. It’s now just a matter of how things integrate — their programme, our programme, and so on. Our home games this year are double-headers so it may not be possible with those but over time it’ll fall into place.”

O’Donovan pointed out that coordinating facilities and resources for hurling, Gaelic football, ladies football, and camogie can be challenging.

“You have secretaries of divisions, our office, Coiste na nÓg, ladies football and camogie are ringing around for referees, and those referees are all committed to games already here and there. There needs to be coordination, then we can look at what happens.

“We have scarce resources and very few people can cope with 100 matches on one weekend, particularly when everyone wants to play at the same time in the afternoon. You also have situations where you want a game played but the club says our ladies footballers are in a final and everyone wants to go support them, we can’t play.

“That needs to be thought through, and if we got that co-operation from everybody it would reduce the hassle that emerges on a weekly basis.

“They (ladies football and camogie) were part of the consultation process. It’s recognised that this is an issue which isn’t going to go away.

“If it does go away we all have a bigger problem.”

Richard Murphy, who chaired the steering group which produced the strategic plan, said: “The more people we have playing Gaelic games the better, they’ll be the parents of the future who’ll help the GAA in all aspects.

Meanwhile, Munster GAA officials will meet at the end of the month to decide on a format for provincial hurling and football leagues after Christmas, as more counties withdraw from the competitions.

Waterford will not be entering the hurling competition, while Kerry became the latest after Tipperary to withdraw from the McGrath Cup, leaving only Cork, Clare, Limerick and Waterford.

“There is a Munster CCC meeting scheduled for November 29 at which the fixtures and competition format is expected to be finalised,” a spokesperson said.

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