Camogie can share main stage – Lawlor
THE deal that sees hurling and camogie share a sponsor can pave the way for the two codes to share the billing on big championship days, according to camogie president Aileen Lawlor.
For the first time, the two codes share a sponsor, with Liberty Insurance recently coming on board for five years. And at the official launch of the championships yesterday, Lawlor believes tying the sports together on match days is the logical step.
"We've always been striving to promote our game at a higher level," Lawlor said. "We had three big All-Irelands here in September and they were on the television. Two of them were live. We need more of that. We need to showcase earlier rounds as well. We need games before the hurling games; maybe a hurling game before a camogie game. That will help us showcase our games."
Minor matches are traditionally played as the curtain-raiser to hurling clashes but Lawlor said that wouldn't necessarily be done away with.
"The GAA have always been inclusive and have always helped us," she said. "It's not always possible to have a game before a hurling game but it's great when you've the same counties competing in the hurling and the camogie and that works well. We'll continue to do that and bring our game to a bigger audience."
The joint sponsorship arrangement is the first step on a road towards merging the five units in charge of Gaelic games (the GAA, ladies football, camogie, handball and rounders) under the one umbrella, an arrangement Lawlor sees as being mutually beneficial.
"We're all part of the Gaelic games family. We're separate because the Camogie Association, GAA and Ladies Gaelic Football Association were all founded at different times but most people think we're the same. We can bring a lot to the GAA and they can bring a lot to us.
"(GAA president) Liam O'Neill says he won't put a time limit on it because if you put a time limit on it then somebody will say it didn't work. It's a work in progress.
"Myself, Pat Quill (ladies football president) and Liam O'Neill are in the same three-year cycle. If it's a thing we can bring to a certain stage by the time the three of us are finished that'd be great but we don't know."