‘I’m absolutely baffled, disappointed, hurt that we’re here again’ – Cork’s Hannah Looney slams fixture clash

Cork dual star Hannah Looney has hit out at the decision to fix Cork camogie and ladies football matches for the same day, saying she is ‘baffled’ and ‘disappointed’ by the scheduling.

Looney and three of her Cork teammates, Libby Coppinger, Aoife Healy and Orlaith Cahalane, are part of the Cork set up in both codes. And on Saturday week they are to face Galway in football and Down in camogie on the same day.

“I’m absolutely baffled, disappointed, hurt that we’re here again,” Looney said. “It seemed to have been that a couple of years ago these kind of clashes were resolved and there wasn’t as much uproar about it. Football and Camogie came out with statements supporting the dual players and it’s just because, it seems, because no-one has talked about it in a while that all that communication and good work and progress has gone back 10 steps.

“I’m here and I really don’t think anything is going to be done about it. There’s four players involved, four starting players; myself, Libby Coppinger, Aoife Healy and Orlaith Cahalane involved in both panels. I just…I can’t wrap my head around the fact that the Camogie Association and ladies football didn’t talk about it.

“The solutions are there. There’s no match this weekend, there’s no match the following weekend (June 24/25). There’s weekends off in between so I don’t know why they’ve put us in this position. Realistically, if they’re trying to push away the dual player and get rid of us, you’re going to lose us from one organisation or the other, or both organisations. We should be doing everything possible to champion women in sport and stuff like this I just can’t believe that I have to have this conversation again. It’s just really, really frustrating.”

Looney is unsure what she will do that weekend though there seems little chance of moving the football fixture given that it is pencilled in for live coverage on TG4.

“I guess the extra frustrating part about it is that camogie had their fixtures pencilled in weeks ago and with the football fixtures there’s two matches to be played and three weekends to play them. And of course, Cork’s two (football) games are on the weekends that are clashing with the Camogie. Like, come on, have a conversation. Do something about it. I know there are different ins and outs, LGFA are competing to get TV rights and stuff like that but it just does seem that there could be easy fixes.

“You might say, look, it’s the split season, things are getting harder. People are trying to push away the dual player but we’re going to keep doing it down in Cork as long as we can. It’s just…and I think that’s what it boils down to, a lack of communication. It’s not just in dual fixtures, it’s a lack of communication between the two organisations as a whole. Women in sport have so many things to fight for, we have so many battles on our plate, we get nothing easy. It doesn’t help when you have the two huge sporting bodies that could work together to achieve a lot more and they’re just fighting against each other. So it is frustrating.”

Looney was speaking at the launch of SuperValu’s ‘Wear with Pride’ Laces campaign and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community is eager to play against Down as it falls in the Camogie Association’s ‘Pride Round’.

“We’re talking here about pride and inclusion and it’s a brilliant initiative, they (camogie) are introducing a Pride round this year, for the second championship game, which is our game against Down on Saturday week and there’s a huge chance I won’t even be there to take part in it when it’s something I’d be very proud to be a part of. Look, I don’t know what the answers are, where the four players will go. Right now, I’d beg the Camogie Association and ladies football to try to fix this because it shouldn’t be happening.”

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