Cavan county boards to discuss Lacken ladies boycott this evening
The ladies of Lacken are taking a stand, and the powers that be are taking notice.
The Cavan club announced last night they intend to boycott two league finals -one football and one camogie - this Sunday in protest at unworkable fixture congestion.
The Cavan ladies football and camogie boards are to discuss the boycott tonight, presumably to try and reach an arrangement that will allow the two Lacken teams' matches to be fixed for different days.
"We will not be commenting on this matter until we have discussed the issues with our colleagues in the Cavan Camogie County Board, with whom we enjoy an excellent relationship, this evening," a spokesperson for the Cavan ladies football county board told SportsJOE.ie. "A full statement will be issued tonight."
With their football team due to play at 12.30pm Sunday in Mullaghoran and the camogie team at 1.30pm in Killygarry there is no way the Lacken's 11 dual players can participate in both matches.
The club have released a statement in which they claim that "both Cavan Ladies Gaelic Football Board and Cavan Camogie Board and their sub-committees have persisted in fixing these games for the same date and within one hour of each other, and despite a number of communication to both boards, this situation has not been resolved".
This local row comes hot on the heels of two national rows that have not painted the two ladies Gaelic codes in a good light this year.
In early July we had the Cork ladies footballers down to play a Munster final against Kerry, four hours after the camogie team (and upwards of three dual players) played Offaly in an All-Ireland group fixture.
Message for Kk,Galway,Tipp,Wex &
Cork Camogie County Boards.. will ye stand up, show some balls and get behind clare and Dublin #cointoss
— Brendan Bugler (@brendanbugler) July 28, 2015
Later that month Clare and Dublin launched appeals against the use of a coin toss to determine which side would progress as second qualifier from group 2 of the All-Ireland camogie Championship.
Lacken are taking this opportunity to highlight other issues with the organisation of competitions in Cavan, airing frustrations with how their games are run in the county.
"The highest rate of dropout of our beloved national games occurs between the ages of 16 to 22. This is already a detriment to all ladies sport but to now insult those that care to play both is a true sign of contempt.
"From a football league perspective, our Senior ladies play in a 6 team single round competition (ie not on a home & away basis) and barring a draw in either the semi-final or final the maximum number of games we can play is seven.
"This is not the first time our lady footballers have had to deal with this doubling up of fixtures, we had to concede a junior league match to Drumlane earlier in the summer as the county board fixtures had fixed for both our lady teams to play on the same evening and again, despite numerous emails, texts, calls no help was given or concessions allowed from the county board (for the record these games were fixed for a Wednesday night).
"From a camogie league perspective, our Senior ladies play in a 4 team single round league which again barring draws in either the semi-final or final gives a maximum of five games. Lacken Camogie club have endeavoured to play these games as scheduled and only in circumstances involving the club participating in the Ulster Championship Competition have required the league final to be scheduled around our participation.
"To summarise that is a maximum of twelve league games that our Senior teams have, yet we are almost into our ninth month of both competitions.
"On numerous occasions in the past we have permitted our players to play camogie & football games in very close proximity to each other, however with the farcical and impossible predicament facing our players this coming Sunday it is now time to highlight the mistreatment we have endured and protect all future young dual players in our county.
"We feel issues arising from playing games in such close proximity to each other (such as burnout, injuries) can no longer be ignored. Our dual players are not getting adequate recovery time and as pointed out by Dr Niall Moyna (of DCU fame) in the past, inadequate recovery time can lead to a number of very serious long term implications.
"We genuinely regret the stance we have had to take as a club & especially regret denying some of our younger players the opportunity to play in a Senior county final but we hope that any genuine GAA supporter, GAA player (dual or otherwise) and players of any sport understand our predicament.
"We will not put our amateur players, who give so much time to their respective sports for both club and county, in harm’s way anymore.
"We plead on behalf of all dual and future dual players in the county that both respective county boards meet and rectify this unnecessary pressure being put on our current and future players, for this year and the years to come.
"We as a dual club are not willing to play our respective league finals until both Camogie and Ladies Football County Boards hold an official and proper meeting to ensure that an issue like this does not arise again. We want all young girls in our county to have the opportunity to play both sports without constant clashes of fixtures."
SportsJOE have contacted both the Cavan ladies football board and camogie board seeking a response.