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Pat Quill: it’s unfair on people not being in a position to come along to support the girls

The LGFA President was disappointed Dublin and Cork fixed club games to clash with Ladies football finals on Sunday.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

BOTH CORK AND DUBLIN will host men’s club championship fixtures on Sunday, the same day that the counties contest the women’s All-Ireland senior football final.

While Wexford obliged a request to change club fixtures and accommodate their junior final against New York, Ladies Gaelic Football Association President Pay Quill was critical of Dublin and Cork’s call to put club fixtures in direct opposition to the finals in Croke Park.

“I’m surprised again because where there’s a will, there’s a way. I can’t see why perhaps some of those games couldn’t have been played. Of course it’s clashing I know with the hurling replay possibly but again, it’s unfair on those people, boyfriends and whatever, not being in a position to come along to support the girls.

“I think we have asked all counties in the lead up to it to try and keep fixtures free but obviously we can’t dictate what they do. They have that programme of events.

“It is changing, but if you look at the attendance of men’s All-Irelands within 40 years of the formation of the GAA, we certainly would have a much bigger attendance now within 40 years of our formation than what they had.

“It will take time, we are a young organisation, for that to change.”

Kyla Trainor, Niamh McGowan, Aisling Moane, Marita McDonald, Vera Foley, Roisin Phelan, Sinead Goldrick, Carla Rowe, Ciara Donnelly and Alisha Jordan Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The ladies finals have become a permanent fixture on the last Sunday in September, ever since the Kilkenny-Galway replay in 2012 forced them to move their plans to the Saturday.

“To be fair to Liam O’Neill, he gave us the Sunday and we got a permanent day irrespective of whether the hurling ended in a draw or not. Perhaps people up for the hurling replay will stay on and have three great games here in Croke Park on Sunday.

“Two years ago, when Joe Canning got that point here, we knew we had to change. It’s great that we can make our plans and work ahead knowing we have the last Sunday.”

Meanwhile, Wexford manager Billy Donnelly praised the decision of his county board to switch the men’s club football quarter-finals to Friday and Saturday.

“To be fair to the fixtures committee they came to us and asked what the connections were and they placed those games on Friday and Saturday so we’re thrilled with the outcome,” he said.

“Nearly everyone has connections involved in both between families and boyfriends. Dual player Fiona Rochford has two brothers, I’ve a son myself who plays with the Shelmaliers and his sister Clara (captain of the Wexford juniors) will be playing here.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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