Kerry Minor Ladies Football Statement:
We, the Kerry Minor team were utterly shocked and deeply disappointed with the LGFA when we heard that there is no Minor All Ireland series. The news had broken us down to tears. There had been a very high anticipation at the start of the year that this would finally be our year to win an All Ireland title, after coming so close in 2016 and 2018 when we reached both all Ireland finals but unfortunately came short. This year was our last chance and we promised each other that we would do whatever it takes to get over the line.
We had sacrificed the last 8 months to achieve our goal. It has been a hectic time for the girls, we were expected to give a hundred and ten percent to our studies/work and to football.
All of our schedules consisted of school or work from 9 to 5, most of us had to go to supervised study after school just so we could get ahead start on our work, then from there straight to training only to return home again at 9 or 10 at night to finish or work and fit in as much study as possible and get ready for the next day again.
We also had gym and running programs to be completed every week. Along with this, when we didn’t have training, we would be still out every night either stretching and recovery or completing our programs. And outside of that we had our own commitments to our family/friends and at home.
As mentioned previously, it was a hectic schedule but that’s what we had to do in order to achieve or goals in which now might be impossible.
A couple of excuses have been made from the LGFA that “limited time frame” and “crossover between minor players that are also on senior intercounty panels”, however if the minor boys have enough time to play championship why can’t we?? Our minor championship only consists of five games in total including the all Ireland final !! For any player that is playing minor and senior inter-county, then of course they prioritize their minor team first, most players even prefer to play both. Therefore there is no valid reason for championship to be cancelled for Minor and underage groups.
Of course we understand these are strange and challenging times for the governing body of the LGFA as they are for us all but every county in Ireland are crying out for our All Ireland campaign to continue, the Dublin and Waterford minor ladies have even gone to the extinct of creating petitions in order for the LGFA to listen to us, however their is still no reply.
The LGFA are breaching their own rules, it is stated in the handbook under RULE 291 “In cases of exceptional difficulties Central Council may make other arrangements for alternative dates”. The LGFA need to start seeing this situation from different perspectives instead of just looking for scapegoats. The LGFA are disappointing hundreds of young girls across the country and destroying their dreams. Again, in the Aims and Objectives of the handbook of the LGFA “The aim of the Association shall be to foster, promote, develop and control Ladies Gaelic football”. It is quite evident that the LGFA are failing to fulfill their role and ultimately failing in developing the game. If they cannot follow their own guidelines and rules then why are they even there??
We have sacrificed too much to just watch our dreams being taken from us. Especially when the men’s championship is proceeding, to call off the ladies minor and underage All Ireland campaigns is an act of discrimination and sexism. In previous years, we have been put second but now we are being completely ignored by our own LGFA governing body!!!
Thankfully we do have a Munster championship, thanks to our own Kerry minor management and chairperson Sean Walsh along with the LGFA Munster committee, however with no other provincial championship going ahead there is still 26 minor county teams around the country that aren’t even giving the chance to wear their county jersey that they rightfully deserve.
This is a serious issue that has to be spoken out loud, it’s a simple task made look impossible, we’re not asking for money or assets, we’re asking for equality, we’re asking for the opportunity to play the game we love!!
Kerry Minor Ladies Football Panel
Mary O’Connell – Na Gaeil
Ciara McCarthy – Abbeydorney
Rachel Ní Chonchuir – Corca Dhuibhne
Mary Collins – Rathmore
Ava Doherty – Glenflesk
Kerri Ann Hanrahan – Killarney Legion
Rachel Kilgallen – John Mitchels
Ella Teahan – MKL Gaels
Rachel Evans – Laune Rangers
Mary Ellen Bolger – Southern Gaels
Ciara Fitzgerald – Currow
Chloe O’Conner – Firies
Caoimhe Crowley – Glenflesk
Julie Delaney – Dr Crokes
Cora Savage – Ballymacelligott
Clodagh Evans – MKL Gaels
Caoimhe Foley – Beaufort
Eimear Sulivan – Austin Stacks
Treasa O’Sullivan – Dr Crokes
Katie Brosnan – Firies
Ciara Butler – Castlegregory
Maud Kelly – Fossa
Gemma Kearney – Castleisland Desmonds
Aoife Dillane – Austin Stacks
Aisling O’Connell – Ballymacelligott
Rachel Dwyer – Southern Gaels
Niamh Broderick – MKL Gaels
Ava Sullivan – Southern Gaels
Eve Creedon – Ballymacelligott
Aoife Crowley – Inbhear Sceine Gaels
Siofra O’Shea – Southern Gaels
Chloe Fitzpatrick – Austin Stacks
Cliona Pierce – Listowel Emmetts
Ellie McElligott – Ballymacelligott
Paris McCarthy – Castleisland Desmonds
Danielle O’Leary – Rathmore (Captain)
Manager – Rory Kilgallen (John Mitchels)
Strength and Conditioning Coach – Daniel Fleming (Kerins O’Rahillys
Selectors: Katie Cahil (Rathmore) Frank McLoughlin (Kerins O’Rahillys) Christena Curtin Murphy (Kerins O’Rahillys) Gene O’Donnell (Austin Stacks) Mick Hannafin (Churchill) Joby Costello (Listowel Emmets)