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Cora Staunton: There's A 'Good Reason' Behind Mayo Player Walkout

Cora Staunton: There's A 'Good Reason' Behind Mayo Player Walkout

On Tuesday, the Mayo News broke a story which rocked ladies football in the county. A significant group of players had taken the decision to depart the senior panel with this weekend's championship game against Cavan looming.

In a statement released by the group through the Women's GPA, it was said they had stepped away "for player welfare issues that are personal and sensitive to the players involved."

Speaking at a Sky Sports event in the Kilmacud Crokes clubhouse on Thursday evening, Cora Staunton - one of the players to have left the panel - called it had been a "heartbreaking" measure to take.

Staunton said that 12 players have left the panel along with two selectors. According to the Mayo News, two of those players are captain Sarah Tierney and vice-captain Fiona McHale. Selector Michael McHale, who is Fiona's father, has also left.

"At the moment, obviously, that's 14 people gone from the team and management," said Staunton.

"I suppose that as a group of 14 we have to be very respectful. The girls have a game at the weekend and we want to keep this all very respectful.

"Normally, I'm very open when speaking to the media and giving my opinion but I've been asked by the other 13 that are involved not to say anything until after the weekend until the girls play Cavan on Saturday."

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Staunton said that there will be further comment from the 14 involved following Saturday's game between Mayo and Cavan.

It's disappointing that it's gone to this but we don't make these decisions lightly. Obviously, we love playing for Mayo and pulling on the Mayo jersey but there's a good reason behind the decision.

I was going into season 24 with Mayo. I started as a 13-year-old a long time ago now. It's heart-breaking to have to make that decision. The girls have made it and the two selectors have made it and we haven't made it lightly.

It's more so, 'watch this space', I'm sure there will be something out Saturday or Sunday.

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Sky Sports mentor Cora Staunton speaking at the Sky Sports GAA Football Roadshow at Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin. Ahead of its coverage of the Super 8’s, the Sky Sports team of expert analysts visited Kilmacud for a special preview night before the opening round of fixtures. Entering into the fifth year of its partnership with the GAA, Sky Sports is extending its support beyond the screen, visiting clubs with its GAA Roadshow series while also supporting the GAA Super Games Centres, as part of a €3million investment in grassroots initiatives over five years.

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PJ Browne
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