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Cork Legend Wants To See Day When It's Called Hurling, Not Camogie

10 September 2017; Gemma O'Connor of Cork in action against Denise Gaule of Kilkenny during the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final match between Cork and Kilkenny at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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The possibility that one day the sport she plays would no longer be called camogie but simply hurling is an "interesting one" says Cork legend Gemma O'Connor.

"Physiologically, we are completely different to men, and men to us," says O'Connor, speaking at the launch of this year’s Electric Ireland Camogie All-Ireland Minor Championships.

"We're not as fast or as strong, but we play to the same principles, do the same things. It can be just as good a game as hurling.

"In terms of renaming the game from camogie to hurling, I'd like that. It poses its own arguments in terms of history, how it was formed and founded, and the word camogie.

"I always say it's a game of hurling, and always looked to train, and play it like a hurler. I think it should be called hurling. Whether you want to call it women's hurling... but I would like to see something like that happening."

gemma o'connor gaa camogie association hurling

Pictured is Cork Camogie legend and 10-time All-Star, Gemma O’Connor, at the launch of this year’s Electric Ireland Camogie All-Ireland Minor Championships.

O'Connor, a nine-time All-Ireland winner who retired from the inter-county game two years ago, believes the proposed merger between the GAA, Camogie Association and LGFA, would be positive.

"I’d be lying if I said camogie didn’t need it," she says.

"I think the Camogie Association 100 per cent needs it. I don’t know at the top level are they willing to admit that but the players definitely need it and they are the ones who are going to reap the benefits out of it.


"The GAA is a massive, great organisation and when you look at GAA clubs around the country, [what they have done] for adults and young boys, I think the girls need that and the Camogie Association needs it.

"We need sponsors, TV, all the pitches. It’s only going to be a positive thing for that merger to happen.

"If the associations are opposing it, they are probably the people that are sitting up in Croke Park in offices. On the ground, players and ex-players probably want to see the merge happen.


"We want to be part of the GAA. Officially we’re not but we all see ourselves as part of the GAA.

"I’m part of the Camogie Association, my neighbour down the road is part of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association. I’ve a brother and friends that are part of the GAA.

"It’s ridiculous really. We’re all playing the same national sports, just a different gender, so it should be all the one body."


Last month, seven Cork camogie All-Stars announced that they would not be taking part in this year's All-Star tour to Canada dues to its proximity to the start of the championship. The tour takes place in Calgary from May 19th - 25th with the first round of senior group games scheduled for the first weekend of June.

O'Connor is "completely behind their reasons" for boycotting the tour.

"The Camogie Association has shot themselves in the foot," she says.


"Once again, we're in the headlines for the wrong reason. I think that needs to be stopped. There needs to be a little bit more forward thinking before they make these decisions. I don't know why they decided to do something like this. It's only going to backfire on the association and the players.

"It just proves, once again, how disjointed and disconnected the Camogie Association is with the players, the people on the ground. It's completely ridiculous, the timeframe in which they've chosen to have the All-Star trip.

"Aisling Thompson said it: You wouldn't be an All-Star without the players you play with, and even the opponents you play against. You don't become an All-Star playing by yourself. It's because you're involved in a team sport.


"I'm a little bit disappointed it's after happening this way. The camogie All-Stars should be an exciting and positive event."

This year, for the first time, Electric Ireland will be extending their #ThisIsMajor campaign to the Electric Ireland Camogie All-Ireland Minor Championships. Follow @electricireland on social for updates throughout the Championships.

See Also: Six Live Football And Hurling Matches To Watch This Weekend

gemma o'connor gaa camogie association hurling



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