"Not letting a team warm up properly - how far does your welfare concern extend?" 9 months ago

"Not letting a team warm up properly - how far does your welfare concern extend?"

"They (Galway) would have had the opportunity to get out onto the pitch earlier had they not spent so much time in the dressing room."

So reasoned LGFA president Marie Hickey on Morning Ireland on Monday morning, as she attempted to explain why the Galway ladies football team only had time five or six minutes to warm-up on a freezing cold All-Ireland semi-final Sunday in Croke Park.

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"They could have been out on the pitch earlier," she continued.

The reason of course, why Galway only had time for a shortened warm-up was an 11th hour venue and time change - approved by the LGFA - which meant the Galway team were half an hour behind their schedule for the day.

"Our priority was player welfare, to get the game played. We actually thought we were doing something brilliant by getting the game into Croke Park," added the Laois woman.

It's one thing 'getting the game into Croke Park.' Player welfare is another.

"Did you ever hear the likes," asked Colm Parkinson on Monday's GAA Hour Show, "this is the president of the LGFA, blaming Galway when it's their mess, for not rescheduling the game.

"You've got a situation where you're landing to an All-Ireland semi-final, you've to get into the dressing room, to tog out, certain people have to get straps, rubs and all of this stuff. Then they get out onto the pitch 20 minutes later, being blamed for not just throwing their gear down and forgetting about the stretching and so on...Getting only a six minute warm on a day that's zero degrees..."

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"Marie Hickey is talking about player welfare," added Conan Doherty, "you're talking about not letting a team warm up properly - how far does your welfare concern extend?"

"It's such a disappointing line for her to take," he added, "it's very easy for people to use the gender inequality thing because Limerick are training and the optics aren't great, but yet again it comes down to the fact that the LGFA are their own party. And it's always the players in the middle of it who are getting screwed over...."

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Cian Ward meanwhile, hopes that the LGFA learn their lesson from this debacle.

"Your heart goes out to the players involved and the disappointment that they will feel, feeling as if they were robbed of a fair chance. All you can hope is that they get their house in order and that we don't see something like this again..."

You can read the LGFA's statement on the day's events here.

You can listen to Monday's GAA Hour Show with Colm Parkinson, Cian Ward and Conan Doherty here.

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