2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Huge upsurge in Ladies Gaelic Football

Huge upsurge in Ladies Gaelic Football

Dublin and Mayo TG4 All-Ireland final could could increase
it even more and with the spotlight on the finals at Croke
Park it is an opportune time to examine the phenomenal growth
of ladies Football in the country. Last year there were
82,000 players registered and with late registrations for
the rest of the year to come in, its looks like this years
figure will be pushed up to over 90,000.

It is one of the few ladies sports in the country that has
32 county involvement in Inter-co Competition. Kilkenny
were the last County to come in earlier in the year. The
sport is growing very fast overseas with many teams in Britain.
It is particularly strong in Australia and in Perth alone
there are 5 senior clubs. There is potential for more growth,
when one considers that Cork city has just one Club Nemo
Rangers who trades as a Junior Club, so there is no Senior
Club in the 2nd largest city in Ireland.

This is well compensated for in the rest of the Co with
clubs springing up at a very fast rate. There are now more
than 50 clubs in the County. Dublin has seen a similar growth
and no doubt with Dublin’s involvement in the Senior final
that growth will be accelerated even more.

At National Level the ladies Gaelic Football has its office
at the back of the Cusack Stand in Croke Park. The hardworking
Chief Executive Officer Helen O’Rourke has given the sport
a huge profile,attracting major sponsors like TG4 for the
Senior and Junior Championships. Suzuki for the National
Leagues. The All Star awards are sponsored by O’Neill’s
and TG4. O’Neills will sponsor the first All Star awards
in conjunction with TG4 at City West on November. This new
and exciting venture was launched at Croke Park on Tuesday
in conjunction with the meeting of the Dublin and Mayo’s
captains Martina Farrell and Helena Lohan before Sundays

Speaking at the launch managing director of O’Neill’s Tony
Towell said. ” O’Neills are proud of our close links with
the GAA and are delighted to be sponsors of this years All
Stars. This has been a wonderful year for ladies Football
and we feel it is appropriate that the stars of the ladies
game are properly honoured. The O’Neill’s/TG4 Ladies All
Stars Ceremony will do just that” President Geraldine Giles
who has brought a new dimension to the sport since eelcted
in March also welcomed the news and stated “We are honoured
to welcome O’Neills Sportswear and TG4 on Boards as the
first sponsors of our all Star awards. O’Neills TG4 and
Cumann Peil na Mban have had a great alliance over the years
and this partnership will help to put our All-Stars on a
different plane and heighten the profile that our players
richly deserve. Cumann Peil Gael na mBan are grateful to
TG4 and O’Neills for their support and commitment to the
Ladies game and we look forward to 2 sporting finals this
weekend and an exciting night in November” she added.

Also in attendance was Pol O’ Gallchoir Chief Executive
of TG4 who sated “TG4 is very proud to be associated with
Cumann Peil na MBan. The partnership is working to our mutual
benefit and we are looking forward with great confidence
to many years working together. The O’Neill/TG4 All Stars
in November will be a very special event as Tg4, O’Neill’s
and the Ladies GAA acknowledge the effort put in by these
athletes and the enjoyment they provide for us all” Televised
live by TG4 Speaking about Sunday’s TG4 finals which will
be televised not only in Ireland but all round the world.

Geraldine Giles said “Sunday is a unique day in the history
of the ladies game, all our 4 teams participating have not
met in a final to date. Kildare and Donegal have competed
alternatively in the Junior final in the pat 2 years and
even though Mayo are making their 5th consecutive appearance
in a senior Final this will be Dublin’s first ever appearance
in an All-Ireland Senior final. This is generating major
excitement around the capital and we are sure it will be
matched by the other participating counties as their team
bids for All-Ireland glory” Dublin may be appearing in their
first ever final but they have a team littered with stars
such as Angie mMcNally, Louise Kelly and Louise Keegan.
Dublin were extremely impressive in claiming the Leinster
title this year and had to overcome an excellent Kerry team
in the semi-final. Managed by former Dublin Minor Coach
Mick Bohan, Dublin are sure to be massively supported on
Sunday as they strive for their first All-Ireland crown.
Interestingly Sunday is the last chance the Dublin fans
will have to stand on the old Hill 16, before renovation
work starts to completes the building of GAA headquarters.

Mayo are the current champions who produced a memorable
performance to claim the title last year in a close fought
encounter with Monaghan. Mayo started this years campaign
as they finished the last but had to sweat it out to beat
a determined and much improved Galway team in the the semi-finals
after extra time. Mayo have the incentive of winning their
second successive title and are no strangers to this special
day for Ladies Gaelic Football, If Mayo are successful on
Sunday it will be their 4th title in 5 years. Mayo’s team
contain several players who are household names such as
Cora Staunton, the Heffernan sisters Chris and Marcella
and they will be very hard to beat.

Captain’s views

Speaking at the Press day at Croke Park on Tuesday, Mayo
Captain Helena Lohan was not taking the Dublin challenge
for granted ” Dublin will be very hard to beat. They are
strong, fast and very well drilled. I saw them in the semi-finals
and we will have our work cut out to beat them and their
midfield in particular is very strong. We are looking forward
to the All-Ireland and it is a very special day. We were
very lucky in the Semis against Galway who played much better
than we expected. In saying that we are very upbeat and
it would be a huge honour for me to follow in Chris Heffernan’s
footsteps and to lift the cup again this year and bring
it back to Mayo” she added. Helena is a 20 year old student
based in Maynooth and would be one of the youngest captains
ever in any code to lift an All-Ireland Senior title if
Mayo defeat the Dubs on Sunday.

Dublin captain Martina Farrell will be hoping to be the
first ever Dublin captain to lift the most coveted prize
in ladies Football the Brendan Moran Cup The Ballyboden
stalwart is exited about the prospect “As Peter Canavan
said last Sunday I cannot think of anywhere better in the
world to be” she said. Martina is really looking forward
to the game despite it being Dublin’s first at this level.
“This is all new to us but it will be a fantastic experience.
This is the reason why you play football, to play in an
All-Ireland final” The Dublin skipper is well aware of the
threat Mayo pose and respects their pedigree, as current
champions. Indeed dublin were beaten by Mayo in last years
Semi-final. As regards the support form the metropolitans.
“I hope Dublin GAA supporters come out in force on Sunday
and I fully expect they will. Interest is high and Mayo
will be well supported so it would be great if Dublin fans
came to cheer us on.”

Fr. Liam Kelleher PRO

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