Wednesday 28 September 2016

"It's totally sexist" - Top camogie player furious with GAA as she scoops Poc Fada medal while men win holiday

Published 23/07/2015 | 10:03

11 September 2011; Catherine McGourty, Down. All-Ireland Premier Junior Camogie Championship Final in association with RTE Sport, Down v Waterford, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE
11 September 2011; Catherine McGourty, Down. All-Ireland Premier Junior Camogie Championship Final in association with RTE Sport, Down v Waterford, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

A leading camogie player has slammed the GAA as she picked up a medal for winning the Poc Fada last Monday while her male counterpart scooped a skiing trip.

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Catherine McGourty from Down beat all before her in the camogie Poc Fada Ulster Championship on Hen Mountain in Down while Tyrone's Paddy McKillion won the male equivalent.

But despite playing the exact same course as the men, all Catherine received was a medal while McKillion will jet off on a skiing holiday.

Speaking to the Irish News, McGourty slammed the decision as "totally sexist" while Ulster Camogie has insisted that the men's prize was organised centrally by the GAA along with a sponsor.

"We went round the course the exact same route as the men, we were actually following them around the route," said McGourty.

"In camogie, we play a size four ball, but when we got there, we found they only had size 5 so we all, male and female, played the exact same.

"When we got back into the Clonduff club rooms, it was then in the speech before the prizes were given out that I first heard about the skiing holiday and that it would only be going to the male winner.

"Eleanor, who also went round the course too, shouted out it wasn't fair and we were told it was to do with the sponsor. But they didn't say anything else, no explanation was given at all.

"It's the principle of it, the Ulster GAA should not be doing this, we did the exact same route as the men so I'm disappointed in the way we have been treated.

"We aren't trying to take away from the winner. He didn't ask for the prize and I didn't even know there was a skiing holiday to win beforehand, so that's not why I entered.

"But it came as a shock that they can do this, it's totally sexist."

Ulster Camogie released a statement saying that the men's prize was organised by the GAA centrally along with two sponsors.

"For the last 10 years Ulster GAA and Ulster Camogie have organised a series of events to jointly promote hurling and camogie throughout the province," it said.

"The O'Neill's Ulster GAA Poc Fada is organised by Ulster GAA on an annual basis with endorsement and support from Ulster Camogie. Both male and female competitors take part in separate competitions and Ulster GAA does not put up a prize other than medals for the any of the winners.

"The Central GAA in conjunction with two sponsors organised a prize for the Senior Men's Poc Fada winner and this falls outside the remit of the Camogie Association and the Ulster bodies."

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