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'Cork will be boycotting the league next weekend if things aren't resolved'

Laura Treacy speaks to The42 about ongoing issues about the structure for the 2021 season.

Updated May 9th 2021, 8:40 PM

CORK’S LAURA TREACY says her county are prepared to boycott their opening round of the league next weekend if issues around the camogie structure for 2021 are not resolved.

laura-treacy Cork defender Laura Treacy. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The Camogie Association is currently polling its members regarding the format for the upcoming season. A consultation document — which has been seen by The42 – was released to clubs from the association on Friday, containing two options for members to consider.

It comes on the back of the association receiving heavy criticism in recent days over its controversial fixture plans for 2021. A survey by the GPA also revealed that 84% of players who responded said they would not participate in the upcoming National Leagues should those plans be retained.

Option 1 in the document falls under the controversial inter-county/club/inter-county model, meaning the season would begin with the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues next weekend followed by the club championship and then inter-county championship later in the year. 

It also proposes the completion of the 2020 All-Ireland club championships.

The second option follows the inter-county/club schedule which the GAA and LGFA are implementing for this season.

Speaking to The42, Cork defender Treacy said:

“I was chatting to a lot of the girls, and as much as we don’t want to do this, we never wanted to be dissing the sport that we love and causing hassle.

“But we feel like we haven’t been heard as players. I’m one of the GPA reps and I do know that our county will be boycotting the league next weekend if things aren’t resolved.

“I’ve been in contact with a few other counties and they’re still holding firm, and I think it’s important that we do. I would love to be playing in Pairc Ui Chaoimh in the first round of the league.

“We’ve waited long enough for games in the last few months and we’re only delighted to be back training but I suppose if we don’t hold with what we think is right with this, I don’t think we’ll ever be heard in the years going forward.

niamh-hanniffy-and-laura-treacy Treacy says she does not want to be speaking negatively about camogie. Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

“It’s not just for us as players here and now, we’re trying to make camogie the best sport to be playing in this country growing up for young girls. We’re trying to set an example, and to be heard.

“We hate that there’s always negative media with our sport. We train and play because of our love of the sport but I can speak on behalf of Cork camogie that we will be boycotting the league next weekend.”

The consultation document states that the “mechanism for adjudicating the result is one club — one vote”. Responses are to be submitted using the online form and are to be “circulated separately to unit secretaries by 10am on Tuesday, 11 May”.

a-general-view-of-the-oduffy-cup-ahead-of-the-game Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Treacy hopes that Option 2 will receive the most amount of support in the poll as it “much more sense” for both club and county players. She also believes that it is the better choice for dual players including her Kileagh clubmate, Hannah Looney, who also plays for the Cork Ladies team.

However, she also has concerns about how the outcome of the poll will go.

“If you were just a club player and weren’t going to be affected by a county player being off and you have a window to play off [games], it looks good,” she says.

“You’re playing in the summer time [in a] short enough window so there’s still time to go off and go on holidays or staycations.

“I am a bit wary about it going to the clubs. I know for a fact our club will be [wary] because of our situation with the dual player and they have an understanding of it. 

“You’d hope other clubs understand the reasoning behind it. There are pros and cons looking into it, but in the overall sense of camogie going in the right direction, it’s definitely the right thing to do in my personal opinion.”

She added:

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“It comes down to the player welfare involved with all players and I hope clubs think about the affect it would have on a club like us not being able to field a full team because of the way the split season has gone.

“From talking to a few clubs in Cork camogie, you just hope that the right thing comes from it but if it was a case that the Camogie Association was so concerned with what the clubs think, why wasn’t it surveyed a few months back?

“Why wasn’t the decision made earlier than now [when] we’re only a week out from inter-county leagues. We could easily be boycotting this league and we still don’t know what the whole set-up will be going forward.”

Treacy says the overall situation is “massively frustrating” and is saddened to see her sport receive so much negative media attention in the run-up to a new season.

But as a GPA rep, she says she fells duty-bound to speak on behalf of players when these issues arise.

She insists that it’s important to remain resolute in their fight for a fairer fixture calendar for all players.

“The Camogie Association a few months back at Congress, voted in the recognition of dual players and I was like, ‘Oh my God, fantastic news. We won’t be fighting this corner again.’

“And here we are again with another problem, it’s massively frustrating to be totally honest. You don’t want to be talking negatively about the sport that you’re playing and the sport that you love and you’re trying to promote [for] young girls.

“They’re all on social media looking at this and seeing it’s so negative all the time. It’s not good for the sport to be constantly in the negative media. But it’s sad that we have to go down this route of social media and trying to be heard through this way.”

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

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