Women's Sports: The future of women's football in Ireland

The future of women's football in Ireland

Last weekend Dublin achieved their third All-Ireland title win in a row. They defeated Galway in a close match in front of a record-breaking 56,114 spectators.

This is the seventh successive year that the attendance record for women's Gaelic football has been broken.  

The sport is clearly popular, but Dublin manager Mick Bohan says there is still a way to go. In particular, he doesn't have time for fixation on record crowds: "I’m actually getting tired of this record crowd number, that’s begun to grate on me,” he says. This is a true marker of success for him would be seeing the women's sportfully integrated into Irish culture. 

Bohan says one way to start is with unifying the GAA, the women’s Gaelic football association, and Camogie Association. The Dublin manager, who has to lead his team to victory for three consecutive seasons and is on board again for 2020 says: “My feeling is it’ll never be a full success until that happens."

He explains: "It’s a little bit like, at the moment in our game, there’s still a provincial system and we don’t even have any teams in our province this year and we’re still involved in a provincial system.

“Is it because it’s the right thing for the game or because people don’t want to let go of their positions? And I think I’d be very clear on the answer to that. I think equally the same situation exists between Camogie, LGFA and the GAA. What’s the right thing to happen? Without a doubt, to go under the one umbrella,” he said.

The coach also highlights a disparity at grassroots: "Teenage girls are opting out of activities at 16, 17 years of age, more so than their male counterparts. Parents will write notes for a girl much quicker than for a fella. Why? Because she’s a girl."

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