It's been a good year for Ladies Gaelic Football but more needs to be done

Facilities need to be improved for a start

BY Simon Maguire 19:49 Friday 29 December 2017, 19:49 29 Dec 2017

2017 will go down as a breakthrough year for Ladies Gaelic Football after the All-Ireland final drew a crowd of over 46,000 to become the most attended women's sporting event in the world.

Cliona Foley and Keiran Shannon joined Joe Molloy on Off the Ball for the Sunday Paper Review in December to discuss one of the unsung success stories of the year.

However, despite the progress in the code, there is still a lot more to be done. 

"Cliona and myself were just discussing outside that we've got to go beyond four or five games makes a season," Shannon told Joe Molloy, adding: "Part of the problem with Ladies Gaelic Football is rightly getting a platform with 46,000 at an All-Ireland final but you have Dublin and Mayo who got to the All-Ireland - we don't maybe look at their path to it or the lack of games that they've had.

"We could be watching these top players, like Cora, like Noelle Healy, Sinead Ahearne, and whether it's televised or not - that they themselves get to play more games during the summer. 

"It's absolutely ridiculous that you have a cracking league played in February and March in the mud and it's not televised and you might have only 50 people at a Mayo-Dublin game.

A view of the goal mouth area at St Brendan's Park, Birr last January. Image: ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

"I happened to be at one the season before last - there wasn't a scoreboard, the conditions were shocking, most people were watching it in their car, it wasn't even at a GAA pitch and people didn't know the score. They were having to follow it on Twitter to find out what the score was. 

"That is as much Ladies Gaelic Football as 46,000 at Croke Park. And, you have a situation where they play the league in those unglamorous conditions and then come Championship -the ground is hard and Dublin are going to plow through Leinster, Mayo and Galway will play the Connacht final and they won't have a game for six weeks either side of it, whoever wins it - I just think the competition structure is farcical."

The full discussion can be heard here:

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