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'It was somewhere north of €50,000' - multi-All-Ireland winner on fuel costs during Cork career

Aoife Murray travelled between Dublin and Cork for much of her inter-county playing days.

Former Cork camogie captain Aoife Murray.
Former Cork camogie captain Aoife Murray.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Updated Oct 28th 2020, 5:25 PM

NINE-TIME ALL-Ireland winner Aoife Murray has said she believes she spent “somewhere north of €50,000″ on fuel costs during her career with Cork.

Murray, who retired from inter-county camogie earlier this year, was speaking to the media after the release of the Women’s Gaelic Players Association’s [WGPA] report into the lives and playing experiences of female inter-county players.

The findings of the report showed that players spend up to €200 per week on fuel costs to accommodate training, while 93% of players have not received any travel expenses.

Former Cork captain Murray was asked about her own spending on travel during her time in a Cork jersey, much of which was spent commuting between Dublin and Cork.

She said that the figure of €50,000 was calculated as part of an exercise with fellow WGPA member, Gemma Begley. The number refers to two trips per week between Dublin and Cork over “nine or 10 years”.

“Unfortunately, Gemma made me do it one day,” Murray laughs. “I think I went home and cried for the night.

To be clear, I did get €200 in 2006 so I have to be clear I did get some form of expenses, albeit quite random back in the boom days. I think the figure was somewhere north of €50,000 over the nine or 10 years.”

Speaking about the misconception of how little financial assistance she was getting at the time, Murray continues:

There’s a perception out there that, even from my own team-mates, that I was being reimbursed in some way, shape or form.

“When in actual fact, I wasn’t. But there was a perception out there that I was getting reimbursed because it would be the most obvious and practical thing to think.

“This to me is more of an education piece that this is actually what’s happening in the current day.”

Begley added that there is a small percentage of female inter-county players who are undertaking huge travel commitments to play for their teams, but that the WGPA is committed to helping them.

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“It’s actually scary when you look at it, just how much players are committing to the game.

“And that’s the extremes, there’s probably the 1% or 2% who are doing the real high extremes and then there’s probably the chunk the middle more towards the average figure.

But it’s certainly the extremes we do want to look after – the players who need it the most to ensure that anyone who is willing and able and has chosen to play for their county with pride, that there’s no barrier for them to do so.

“They should be able to commit to their games.”

Elsewhere in the discussion, WGPA chairperson Maria Kinsella said that the LGFA are providing travel expenses for players this year for matchdays on account of Covid-19.

“We are aware that the LGFA has announced travelling expenses for players during the 2020 championship in light of the enhanced restrictions of Covid-19 and the additional financial burden placed on players travelling to games on their own.

“However, we believe a long-term feasible solution needs to be looked at for both associations. Both are probably not in a position to fund a travelling expenses model themselves but they are solutions and maybe you have to be a little bit creative in your solutions.

I believe 50c per mile will be awarded to players for matchday travel only in the group stages, and it’s only for the 2020 championship for every female inter-county footballer.”

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