"I was worried, genuinely worried, about some of them girls' mental health" - Cora Staunton

Multiple Mayo All Ireland winner speaks to Nathan Murphy as she releases her new book 'Game Changer'

BY Raf Diallo 20:00 Thursday 8 November 2018, 20:00 8 Nov 2018

Mayo Ladies football legend Cora Staunton has recently released a new autobiography called Game Changer.

The Carnacon club player and Greater Western Sydney Giants Australian Rules footballer joined Nathan Murphy on tonight's show to discuss her careers and stories from the book.

The four-time All Ireland winner did speak about the recent issue regarding the Mayo Senior Ladies team and the management. 

She confirmed that she has played her last game for Mayo.

"Where it stands at the moment, I won't be putting on the Mayo jersey personally myself again. This year would have been my last year. It's disappointing the way it ended," she said.

"But the most disappointing thing for me is that there's 11 girls and probably at least seven or eight of them that are in their prime or haven't even reached their prime that won't play with Mayo in the near future which is really disappointing for Mayo itself, because these are some of the best footballers that the county has ever produced and some of the best underage talent coming through and some of them are as young as 19 or 20 and have their whole careers ahead." 

Staunton also addressed the wording of public statements about the Mayo environment being "unsafe" or "unhealthy". 

"The most important thing, when you use words, they can be taken in many different contexts," she said.

"To me, from a point of view, when I use the words, that's the reason I stepped away. Obviously we can have perceptions of what 'unsafe' and what 'unhealthy' are.

"But when we talked about 'unsafe' and 'unhealthy', we were always on about their mental well-being. And there are girls' mental well-being that really suffered and still is suffering because of the environment that they're in and that's why I used the words and the terms that they needed to step out of that environment because it wasn't healthy or it wasn't safe for their mental health.

"From a personal point of view, I walked away in solidarity with them girls and I was worried, genuinely worried, about some of them girls' mental health - and still to this day genuinely worried about certain girls that had to leave that environment because of their mental health. So that's the context of the words that I was using. It was all around their mental well-being."  

On the relationship with some team-mates, Staunton admitted that "certain relationships with certain players have broken down".

And she also added in regards to the roots of the saga: "It's nothing to do with me and Peter Leahy. The media have put it between Cora and Peter Leahy. It's not about Cora and Peter Leahy. Again, I have to reiterate that there are 11 other girls that have walked away."

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