Ladies Angry and Disappointed Over Rules Dates Switch

Ladies Angry and Disappointed Over Rules Dates Switch
Officials of the Ladies’ Gaelic Football Association have expressed their anger and disappointment at a switch of dates by the GAA for the International Rules series which could lead to a direct clash with the inaugural ladies test series against Australia.Just back from the All Stars tour to Singapore where the historic agreement with the AFL for a ladies series was reached, officials were shocked to read that the GAA now proposed to change the dates of their test matches from those published in the official fixtures list and diary. 

Ladies’ Chief Executive Helen O’Rourke said they had consulted the official fixtures list last Friday before agreeing dates with the Australians and with TG4, who plan live coverage of both games. “We did that to ensure that we would avoid any clash with other major fixtures. All our plans were in place and announced and now we find ourselves in a very difficult position,” she said.

It was announced at the weekend that the first ever ladies test would take place on October 31st in either Cork or Galway, with the second test taking place on November 4th in Dublin. According to the GAA diary, the men were due to play on October 15th and 22nd. But a change to these dates was unexpectedly announced yesterday. Now, depending on the availability of floodlights in Croke Park and Pearse Stadium the men will play on the weekends of October 28/29 and November 4/5.

“It is extremely disappointing to discover that significant changes in dates have been made without any consultation,” added Helen O’Rourke. “We decided on our dates according to the official diary of the GAA. We were also in telephone contact with the stadium. It was common sense and courtesy to avoid any clash with other events on the GAA calendar and we wanted to have our own week of international football. “Now we read in the newspapers that the GAA has changed the dates of their tests so that there is the possibility of a direct clash with ours. It is totally unreasonable to change a master plan in this fashion without having some regard for the effect it would have on other bodies within the association. “We are really angry about this. A lot of work has already gone into organising and planning for what is a major development in Ladies’ Gaelic Football. It puts us in an impossible position and it is very unfair to our players and to our colleagues in Australia and to TG4. We have no choice but to stick with the dates despite the possibility of a clash.”

Pol O Gallchoir, Ceannasai TG4, said they were happy that the Ladies Football Association had decided to go ahead as planned. The series coincides with the 10th anniversary celebrations for the station. “We have developed an excellent relationship with Cumann Peil Gael na mBan. The professional manner in which the negotiations took place in Singapore was very impressive and this series is one of the most exciting innovations for Irish sport in a long time.”

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