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Cork's Doireann O'Sullivan urg...
Football

Cork's Doireann O'Sullivan urges government to sort ladies football expenses

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

11:42 30 Apr 2021

Cork ladies football captain Doireann O'Sullivan says the government need to act fast and ensure travel expenses for ladies footballers are covered.

The Mourneabbey clubman spoke on OTB AM this morning about the lack of equality on that front between the men's and women's game, and said it's imperative for the future growth of ladies football.

"We're come so far in that now we're talking about it and people are aware of it. It's a huge step for us, but we are at that crossroads now where we actually need this talking to come into action.

"We are hugely pushing for the government to give us that grant for, the main one is travel expenses. I'm not underplaying how far we've come in terms of food after training, showers, all that - we're ticking all those boxes.

"But the travel expenses is the gaping hole. I don't mind, I'm living in the city centre, I have 20-25 minutes to go to training. [But] we have girls coming down from Dublin, Galway, Limerick.

"Áine Terry [O'Sullivan] and Clare O'Shea sit into their car in Allihies down in Beara and it's two hours and 40 minutes for those girls to come to training.

"So not only are they leaving work early, they're putting petrol into the car and that costs money. You shouldn't be out of pocket for representing your county at the highest level.

"It is frustrating because we haven't done anything about it. The only thing we've probably done is increased awareness, but we are hugely urging the government to back it. Just do it. Give us the grant, give us the money, and we will really benefit hugely from it.

"It's not even for us, I'm 26, I'm nine years now playing inter-county football. I might never get travel expenses but it's for the girls coming up, that we can make ladies football more attractive, and get equality and be the same as the men representing [their counties] at the highest level.

"It's just [about] creating that culture and making it a better place for young girls coming up, that they see what's ahead of them."

It isn't a new problem either, with O'Sullivan highlighting the expenses problem on an Off The Ball Roadshow two years ago.

O'Sullivan, who led Cork to an All-Ireland final last year before defeat to Dublin, says it needs to be the government that steps up to the plate to cover their costs.

"Last year we were travelling by ourselves for inter-county games - we travelled to Parnell Park, to Croke Park, all around the country. You had to go by yourself, I was lucky enough that I could go with my sister Ciara but other girls were in cars by themselves.

"Our county board did cover some of that expense, but in the grand scheme of things, going to training three times a week, no. There's been no progress or movement on that front, which is disappointing to see.

"Our county board, our sponsors, I don't think that's the way it's going to be resolved. They're doing loads for us, we do need government funding to support this and bring ladies football to a new level.

"It's kind of a basic really, if you're going anywhere you need to put petrol into your car, never mind driving two hours 40 minutes to play football, and that's one-way.

"That's the major one we need to close the gap on. We've closed the gap in so many other areas, but that's the stand-out one."

Different Backgrounds; One Association - Cork's Doireann O'Sullivan, Kerry's Paul Geaney, Limerick's Dan Morrissey and Galway's Sarah Dervan were all part of GPA's Return to Play event to mark the first season where all senior inter-county players are part of the one player association following the merger of the GPA and WGPA in December.


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Cork Cork GAA Doireann O'Sullivan Fuel GAA Gaelic Football Otb Am Travel Expenses

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