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Cora Staunton Knows Exactly How The Mayo Hurlers Feel

Cora Staunton Knows Exactly How The Mayo Hurlers Feel
By Paul Shaughnessy
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The Mayo senior hurlers have been left frustrated by the Mayo county board as they have been denied access to MacHale Park for their remaining two games in the Christy Ring Cup.

Mayo GAA chairman Seamus Touhy explained that McHale Park is not open to all teams at the moment as he believes the pitch needs to be managed accordingly in this early stage.

Since the start of the season the Mayo senior hurlers have been using Ballina Stephenites' ground for their home games. There was a hope that Tooreen would be able to host Mayo's remaining games in the Christy Ring group-stage but it has been deemed as ''not holding the county ground status''.

Mayo hurling selector John Cunnane told the Western People:

“It’s our understanding that MacHale Park will continue to remain available for the senior football team to train yet we are not allowed to play our championship matches there? The attitude of Mayo County Board absolutely stinks,” slammed Cunnane who noted how MacHale Park was even made available to the Galway senior football team who trained there ahead of their victory over Mayo last month.

Speaking at the launch of the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Legends Tour series today, legendary Mayo footballer Cora Staunton expressed her sympathies with the Mayo hurlers.

"If you’ve played ladies football at any stage you can certainly empathise with them! Unfortunately in my time with Mayo, that was probably a very common theme, especially from the point of view of being able to train at McHale Park. We obviously did play there, the Connacht final was there on a number of occasions. But yeah it’s very disappointing in this day and age where we’re talking about equality - whether it’s in women’s sport or within the GAA right across (the board).

"It’s very disappointing that if you’re a county hurler in Mayo you’re training for eight, nine, ten months and you can’t play in your home ground. Then you hear on the back of it that the Mayo men’s footballers were training there. That’s disappointing – especially after the redevelopment of the pitch. It’s not as if wed’ had particularly bad weather the last while. My opinion is, whether you are a hurler, a footballer, a ladies footballer or camogie player, your home ground is your home ground and everyone should have equal access to it. You’d hope by Sunday the Mayo hurlers are playing in McHale Park.

Staunton added that she had only trained at MacHale Park a handful of times in her 23-year career with Mayo.

"We trained on the pitches on the outskirts of McHale Park, there’s another couple of pitches there. But I could probably count on one hand, maybe two hands, how many times I’ve trained at McHale Park. You just want equality across all codes. You don’t want Mayo to be in the media for the wrong reasons."

7 April 2022; In attendance during a McDonagh, Ring, Rackard, Meagher promotional event is Daniel Huane of Mayo with the Christy Ring Cup at the GPA Offices in Santry, Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

This decision by the Mayo County Board has been labelled as ''blatant discrimination'' towards Mayo senior hurlers by their management team.


“It’s a complete slap in the face to lads who are putting in a huge effort to play senior hurling for Mayo – every bit as big of an effort as the footballers,” Cuannane said.

Mayo will need victories in their two remaining games against Sligo and Derry to see them advance into the Christy Ring final.

After starting their season with a heavy defeat at the hands of Kildare, Derek Walsh's side have picked up victories over Wicklow and London.


Additional reporting: PJ Browne

SEE ALSO: Kevin McStay Shocked By 'Absolute Implosion' Of Tyrone




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