Sunday 23 October 2016

Ladies boss tells critics to 'look at bigger picture' in dressing-room row

Published 06/05/2015 | 02:30

Ladies president Helen O'Rourke
Ladies president Helen O'Rourke
CEO of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, Helen O’Rourke admitts that she was “disappointed and surprised” at the player’s actions (Sportsfile)

The boss of Ladies Football has hit back at the decision of a Limerick player to express her dissatisfaction to the Women's Gaelic Players Association after both teams were denied access to the dressing-rooms at Parnell Park last Saturday.

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CEO of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, Helen O'Rourke (above), said that she was "disappointed and surprised" at the player's actions.

Offaly beat Limerick in the Division 4 League final and both teams had to warm up at nearby venues due to the men's All-Ireland U-21 decider taking place afterwards.

O'Rourke pointed out that in order to ensure that the Division 4 final was shown live on television, the game had to take place at Parnell Park.

"I was very surprised and a little disappointed. Initially, when the game was to be in Navan, it wasn't going to be televised because there was no capacity to facilitate us there," O'Rourke said.

"I have to say I was disappointed because we worked hard to facilitate everyone. The important thing for teams was to get their television coverage.

"We try and get the Division 4 final televised. That's a fantastic opportunity for the counties involved because sometimes Division 4 can lose out.

"We've had this arrangement with the GAA in the past. Both counties were made aware of it in advance."

The problem arose because the dressing-rooms at Parnell Park are inter-linked, so to ensure that the ladies and the men's teams were given privacy, alternative arrangements were made.

"They were only too happy to have the coverage and in fairness, within half a mile radius, they were given state-of-the-art facilities to tog out," O'Rourke said.

"I don't really know what her issue was because as I said, we had made arrangements and you can't get any better than the facilities that were recommended to them.

"There were two rooms that were provided for their talks before the match and at half time so it's not as if they were left out on the field.

"I was disappointed because you have to look at the bigger picture at what was provided for them."

Irish Independent

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