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Cavan LGFA Respond With Timeline Of Events Following Player Strike

19 June 2022; Kathryn Sullivan of Mayo is tackled by Neasa Byrd of Cavan during the TG4 All-Ireland SFC Group A Round 2 match between Cavan and Mayo at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park in Longford. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Cavan Ladies Gaelic Football Association released a statement on Sunday to "address the issues which have been raised in the past week". It comes after their senior women's team withdrew from their final game of the National League against Tyrone on Sunday over a disagreement with the county board regarding player expenses and playing gear.

Last week, on the We Are Cavan podcast, team captain Neasa Byrd said the panel signed a player charter in January which the county board has "broken". The provision of expenses for players travelling from Dublin to training in Cavan was the main point of contention.

In a statement released through the GPA on Sunday morning, the Cavan panel said "there has been positive engagement since the issues involved were brought to light" but they "are not prepared to play until the issues have been fully resolved as we have been let down as regards promises and commitments previously".

On Sunday evening, the county board outlined a timeline of events from their perspective.


Cavan LGFA statement following player strike

"It is with deep regret that we find ourselves making this statement as a board to the Clubs in Cavan," the statement reads.

"We recognise the fact that all parties within Cavan Ladies Football have suffered in the past week. As volunteers working with the best interests of Cavan Ladies at heart, we would hope that our members would be treated with the same respect and dignity as our players. We would like to outline and address the issues which have been raised in the past week.

"On the 15th of January, the charter was signed by the Cavan LGFA Gaelic Players Association representatives and representatives from our Executive board. The charter is an advisory recommendation document as per the Ladies Gaelic Football Association.


"On the 30th January, we received an email from the Senior team Female Liaison Officer. This outlined that they requested travel expenses for 4 cars travelling down from University in Dublin. In an act of good faith, subject to a full executive meeting where the finances could be discussed and finalised, a once-off payment was paid to the cars 1st February. At the full executive meeting following this discussion on the 21st February, at that moment and upon disclosure of the Senior Team expenses, it was not a feasible option at this particular point in time, as there was an alarming increase of 101% on the same period in 2022 on the Senior Team. This was not proportionality being offset by income. This was open to be reviewed as per the charter in April.

"On the 21st February, we received an email in terms of potentially running a fundraiser of sorts to provide funds for the girls, such as an Easter camp. As per National Guidelines, a minimum of 8 week's notice needs to be applied to for Croke Park to run a camp. All fundraising is handled and co-ordinated by the Finance Committee and put into central funds, to ensure that all our generous sponsors expectations are honoured. While we appreciate that a camp would be a fantastic fundraiser to promote Cavan Ladies Football, and to allow young girls in the county to get to know their Senior Players, this was something we could look at running during the Summer where it could be organised and ran as per compliance, in terms of coaching accreditation and safeguarding.

"On the 9th March, we received an email requesting a meeting with representatives. We informed them that we had an executive scheduled for the 13th March, and would make arrangements following this. Following our meeting, we proposed to meet on the 20th March with Players representatives to discuss and resolve any player issues. We did not want to interfere with any preparations before their National League fixture against Laois and wanted to allow them the week to focus solely on their match. We advised within the email that we planned to meet management at a later date to discuss any other issues. The players declined this proposal unless it was a full meeting with all management and players representatives. As an executive, we did not see fit to involve the players in queries and issues related to management and vice versa.


"On the 20th of March, our Chairperson was made aware that a podcast was going to be released that evening, recorded by members of the Senior Ladies team.

"On Tuesday the 21st an executive meeting was held, where it was decided that a delegation of three executive members would meet with player representatives. It was later agreed to include the FLO and the players requested to have Tom Parsons, the GPA representative in attendance which was accepted. We requested to hold the meeting as soon as possible, and Thursday was the earliest that the girls would be available to engage in the meeting. We believed that there was positive engagement from all parties, and a positive commitment to engage further on all the issues that were raised. The proposals which were made were seemingly agreed to by all. On Friday afternoon, we were contacted for confirmation on the finetuning before the proposals were brought to the full group for clarification that evening.

"On Friday night, we received feedback from the wider group. New proposals were made by the players. Despite our honest endeavour as a committee, and to our greatest sadness, at 1pm on Saturday, we were informed that the players would not be fulfilling the fixtures. Croke Park advised us to inform both players and management that the Government Intercounty Scheme Funding, which includes player expenses, would not be fulfilled as per their guidelines.


"As a point of clarity on gear, girls were sized and fitted. This includes playing gear, match day gear and training gear. This is with the manufacturers currently. By Saturday evening, we believed that all matters had been resolved, and we would continue to work together for the future development of Cavan Ladies Football. Making change does not happen overnight, and we have endeavoured over the last three months to support our players and members."

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