Friday 20 April 2018

'Shocking' Tyrone fixture clash angers fans - Canavan

Tyrone great Peter Canavan. Photo: Sportsfile
Tyrone great Peter Canavan. Photo: Sportsfile

Declan Bogue

A fixtures clash brewing in Tyrone has provoked angry reaction from the county's former All-Ireland-winning captain Peter Canavan.

This Sunday, Tyrone ladies face Tipperary in the All-Ireland Intermediate final in Croke Park, which throws in at 1.45pm.

However, the Tyrone County Board have fixed a senior men's championship tie for later that day with Errigal Ciarán due to face Carrickmore in Pomeroy at 6pm.

Canavan, whose daughter áine and niece Maria feature for the ladies team, is frustrated at the turn of events. "There is outcry obviously and disappointment in a lot of clubs," he said. "It has put club members in a position whereby they have to choose between club championship matches and an All-Ireland final that their club members are playing in.

"In an era where so many clubs are working on a 'One Club' model, Errigal has fully integrated the boys and the girls. There is no difference made between the girls and boys. Yet clearly there is a differentiation made here.

"It is hard to believe, it's hard to fathom that they can show such scant regard to their own Gaels."

Others will also be left in an impossible situation, with Carrickmore fans unable to lend their support to talented attacker Gemma Begley.

Hundreds "There would be hundreds from Errigal and Carrickmore going down to that game to support the ladies. Now we have a fixture at 6 o'clock in Pomeroy," Canavan explained. "In the Quinns' case, you have a brother and a sister in Shannon and Eoin Quinn (who is a playing member of the Errigal Ciarán senior team). Eoin will not be able to see his sister playing in an All-Ireland final in Croke Park."

When contacted, representatives of the fixtures committee had no public comment to make.

Canavan offered a solution to the problem, saying; "There are alternatives. They can play a championship match on a Monday. At the very least, which wouldn't be ideal, but they could play the games that didn't have any club members involved in the ladies' final on Sunday."

Noted to be one of the more progressive counties in Ireland for integrating the various wings of the club in recent seasons under the 'One Club' model, Tyrone were the first county to appoint a female county board chairperson, when Róisín Jordan of Eglish took the reins in December 2014.

Canavan feels this situation could cause Jordan some discomfort: "It's a shocking decision from the fixtures committee. If nothing else, it's put our county chairperson, the first female chairperson of a county board, in an unenviable position as well. It's embarrassing for her."


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Irish Independent

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