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Noelle Curran
Kilkenny Ladies Football PRO

When Kay Brennan in Castlecomer Co Kilkenny read about the Gaelic for Mothers programme she thought it might be a “bit of fun” in the ‘Comer area and where else to make enquiries but with the frontrunners in ladies gaelic football in Kilkenny-her neighbouring club Railyard. Kay was despatched to Croke Park on a fact finding mission, and returned laden with info on the programme.
On spreading the word around Castlecomer, Muckalee and Mooneenroe the response was huge and over 70 mothers assembled at the Prince grounds in ‘Comer in August. Josephine Holland was appointed Secretary and Co-ordinator and the ladies were put through their paces by Elaine Maher. While many of the mothers were unlikely to reach Elaine’s level of fitness they soon mastered the basics of ladies football, with many adapting quite admirably having played football or camogie in the not too distant past. Six weeks training and some great fun was had by all with the aim being to take part in the first ever Ladies Football Gaelic for Mothers tournament in St Sylvesters Gaa club in Dublin. Such was the enthusiasm among the ‘Comer ladies that the club despatched three teams to the tournament and must be one of the biggest groups set up nationwide! The bus journey was kindly sponsored by the Castlecomer Erin’s Own Gaa club and the ladies headed off with instructions to do the ‘Comer jersey proud (and no doubt to return the jerseys washed and ironed!!!)
The ladies had an excellent time at the tournament meeting and playing against mothers from all over the country, and were highly impressed with the co-ordination of the day’s events. Each team had four games with one of the ‘Comer teams having to play five games. (Obviously this was the fittest team of the three!!). Results have been a closely guarded secret but one of the teams won two out of their four games on the day.
A weary but very happy bunch made the journey home and the aches and pains could only be cured by a night of celebration in Dillon’s in ‘Comer. Having kept fuelled up on isotonic health drinks and snacks for the day the ladies could now enjoy a Lucozade to replenish their energy!
The north of Kilkenny is well served by ladies football with clubs in Railyard, Muckalee and Freshford playing in the county senior and junior championships and ‘talks are ongoing’ to sign up some of the ‘Comer mothers to play with some of the local clubs – with many of the mothers well up to the standard. ‘Comer are the only club in Kilkenny involved in Gaelic for Mothers but this will surely change as other towns and parishes hear how successful the programme has been. Great credit goes to all the ladies considering that ‘Comer doesn’t actually have a ladies football club and girls in the area play with local clubs Railyard and Muckalee. This may well change due to the interest buzzing in the north Kilkenny town.
To round off a very successful Gaelic for Mothers initiative the club assembled recently for a hugely enjoyable end of season night out courtesy of The Vaults Pub in ‘Comer. Having received invites to visit other clubs around the country the men of ‘Comer should get their domestic skills up to scratch as the Castlecomer Gaelic for Mothers tour will no doubt be back on the road in 2010! (See gallery for team pics)

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