Team captains Máire O'Shaughnessy of Meath and Fiona Claffey of Westmeath fist bump prior to the 2020 TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies Football Championship Final match between Meath and Westmeath at Croke Park in Dublin. 
Team captains Máire O'Shaughnessy of Meath and Fiona Claffey of Westmeath fist bump prior to the 2020 TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies Football Championship Final match between Meath and Westmeath at Croke Park in Dublin. 

GAA hopes for closer alignment with Ladies Football and Camogie


By John Harrington

GAA Ard Stiúrthóir, Tom Ryan, believes the Association’s links with Camogie and Ladies Football “have never been stronger”.

An agreement on a route towards closer cooperation and integration expired at the end of 2020, but Ryan expects a new one to be enshrined in the near future.

“I am sure that but for the events and pressures of the latter part of 2020 we would have concluded a new understanding,” said Ryan in his Annual Report.

“In fact we have already started discussing our renewal, and what the next phase of our relationship might bring.

“I think I speak for all three of us when I say there is a very keen appetite on all our parts to move to closer alignment. The precise shape and form of that alignment will emerge over time, but it cannot be unilateral. Camogie and Ladies Football are independent and distinct bodies.

“They are well run and eminently capable, and they deserve the right to determine their own destiny. Merely assuming that they would be better served in an all-encompassing GAA does them a disservice.

“I believe that the true success here will be measured in terms of outcomes, not in terms of processes or structures. In other words we are striving for the day when there are no apparent differences between us in all of our key policy objectives and how we deliver them.

“Indeed that we deliver them as one. This can be achieved irrespective of constitutional change. That is not to either pre-empt or discount any eventual constitutional changes, just to de-emphasise that side of things.

“There is already a flourishing model to build upon – the one club model where a club offering diverse codes flourishes as a single unit - irrespective of the games it offers or the vagaries of its committee structures.”