Address by Sean Mc Cague, Uacthtarán CLG at the launch of the Ladies Integration Pilot Scheme, Croke Park, 25/02/03

Uachtarán na hÉireann, friends, ladies and gentlemen. It is indeed an honour to welcome you to Croke Park on this historic occasion as we begin the process of bringing our three Associations together as one.

The integration of Cumann Camógaíochta na nGael, Cumann Peil Gael na mBan and Cumann Lúthchleas Gael has long been an ambition of those concerned with the promotion of Gaelic Games. Indeed from as early as the 1970’s, when ladies football in particular was beginning to make an impact at grassroots level, the prospect of our three Associations coming together as one has been the topic of much discussion. It has taken some time to reach the position we find ourselves in today, but I am confident that this has been time well spent, time spent indeed in preparation for what we hope will ultimately be a seamless amalgamation and one which will prove mutually beneficial for us all.

In many ways our coming together has always been perceived as inevitable. Indeed in many instances at club level, integration has already effectively taken place. Such de-facto interaction has convinced us that the potential of all three Associations and their effectiveness in promoting Gaelic Games can best be achieved through a concerted effort on all of our parts. Individually, we can be proud of our respective histories. Next year, the Camogie Association celebrates its centenary. In a colourful and vivid history, you have given much to the women of Ireland. You have provided, not only a sporting and cultural outlet, but a confidence and sense of pride that few National institutions can claim to have matched.

Our Ladies football Association, although only founded in 1974, has expanded dramatically in its short existence. The fact that attendances in excess of 20,000 have become common place at your All Ireland finals in recent years is symptomatic of the incredible work which is being carried out at all levels to promote your games.

Both Associations at times have had to shout in order to be heard and the fact that both face into the millennium in such a healthy position is testament to the drive and dedication of those who constitute your membership.

And so today we launch a pilot scheme in eight counties with the ultimate aim of establishing the best framework for complete integration of our Associations. The potential benefits of this are many and varied. It is our intention to move forward in a confident and ambitious manner as a united body with the combined membership, skills, expertise and resources of the three Associations at our disposal.

It is our earnest hope that through this pilot scheme we will not only identify potential difficulties, but also appropriate solutions to the ultimate aim of unity and prosperity.

The process will be monitored by a steering committee appointed in each county. This committee will consist of two representatives from each Association and will have responsibility for formulating an integration framework suitable to each county with emphasis on areas such as membership and the shared use of resources and facilities.

May I take this opportunity to thank the participating counties for agreeing to take part in this initial scheme. I would also like to pay tribute to the increased participation work group under the Chairmanship of Barney Winston for all the work they have carried out in driving this project. May I also acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the leading officials in both the Camogie and Ladies Football Associations without whose support and commitment the whole process could never have reached this advanced state.

Finally, I would like to express the heartfelt appreciation of all three Associations to Uachtarán na hÉireann Mary Mc Aleese for taking time out from her busy schedule to join us here today. The President, and indeed her husband Martin, have always been outstanding supporters of Gaelic Games and I know that we are all aware at this stage of their particular enthusiasm for hurling, football and camogie. Go raibh maith agat a Uachtaráin, is go raibh maith agaibh go léir.

Seán Mac Thaidhg
Uachtarán, CLG

Sign up to our email newsletter


Partners & Supporters





See all LGFAClubs