Saturday 20 January 2018

Nine members of Cork camogie panel ineligible for 2016 after typing names in applications instead of signing

Cork players Gemma O'Connor, left, and Orla Cotter, lift the O'Duffy Cup
Cork players Gemma O'Connor, left, and Orla Cotter, lift the O'Duffy Cup Newsdesk Newsdesk

The Cork Camogie Board and the Camogie Association are at loggerheads after nine of last year's All-Ireland winning team were not allowed to regrade to the intermediate ranks for 2016.

According to a report in the Irish Examiner, the Camogie Board have told Cork that the players seeking to be regraded would not be permitted to and their decision could not be appealed.

The Cork intermediate team, who compete in Division Two of the league, had been due to take on Antrim this weekend but will instead give the Saffrons a walk-over because they are unable to field a team.

Under Rule 30.1 (c), the 11 Cork senior panellists who won All-Ireland medals last September, but did not feature from the bench in the 2015 championship were required to apply for regrading to be eligible to line out for the Cork intermediates in 2016. The 11 application forms were sent to the Cork Camogie secretary last month and then forwarded to Croke Park for approval.

The Camogie Board rejected nine of the 11 applications on the grounds that the players in question typed their name where they should have signed it with a pen.

It is reported that Cork used the same process to regrade a number of players last year, and typed the names, but none of those were deemed ineligible.

Cork Camogie Board chair Mary McSweeney told the Examiner: "These girls were regraded last year and, despite filling out the form exactly the same this year, their applications have been rejected.

“We are not accepting this. These girls are Cork camogie. They want their voices heard. We will continue to fight this."

The nine players involved are Sarah Fahy, Niamh Ní Chaoimh, Amy Lee, Katelyn Hickey, Leah Weste, Sarah Buckley, Finola Neville, Lauren Callinan, and Rebecca Walsh.

The controversy comes just nine months after the coin toss debacle which made headline news.

Dublin and Clare withdrew from a proposed coin toss to decide who would qualify from Group 2 for the All-Ireland championship after both sides had finished level on points last July.

The Camogie Board eventually offered both sides a playoff to decide who would meet Wexford in the last eight that Dublin won.

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