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Hannah Looney 'Really Angry' With Camogie And Ladies Football Associations

Pictured is Cork Ladies footballer and LGBTQ+ advocate Hannah Looney at the launch of SuperValu’s ‘Wear with Pride’ Laces campaign. As part of the initiative and SuperValu’s wider #CommunityIncludesEveryone campaign, rainbow laces will be available to purchase in over 222 SuperValu stores nationwide for Pride month, with proceeds going to support Belong To, LGBTQ+ Youth Ireland. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
By PJ Browne Updated
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Hannah Looney says she would "love" to have spoken to the media on Thursday regarding her excitement for this summer's camogie and ladies football championships or the 11 points that Doireann O'Sullivan scored for Cork in the Munster final against Kerry. However, the dual player's enthusiasm has been tempered by fixture clashes.

"At the moment, I'm really frustrated and disappointed, and really angry at the Camogie Association and Ladies Football Association. That's taken a bit of my focus at the moment," Looney said at the launch of SuperValu’s ‘Wear with Pride’ Laces campaign.

"I say that because on Saturday week, there's another upcoming fixture clash. Two knockout championship games in many senses - playing Galway in the football and Down in camogie. It just seems that we've taken 10 steps back.

'I'm nearly here begging the camogie and football'

"I feel that actually in recent years, this hasn't been much of an issue. I suppose in recent years, there's been a lot of shouting, a lot of targeting the associations and saying 'This isn't good enough'.

19 March 2023; Hannah Looney of Cork during the Very Camogie League Division 1A match between Kilkenny and Cork at UPMC Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

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"They both, to be fair to them, have come out with statements that they would support the dual player as much as possible, and it kind of went away in the last few years. I don't know what's gone wrong this year. There just seems to be nothing happening or a total breakdown of communication.


"People will say to me that 'The days of the dual player are gone. They don't have it in the men's games anymore'. In Cork at the moment we have four dual players: myself, Libby Coppinger, Aoife Healy, Orla Cahalane, who are representing Cork to the highest level, and giving all we can to both sports, and doing it quite successfully. I'd say that's not an argument to have with me right now.

"It's just disappointing because we represent the Camogie Association and ladies football with the highest regard. We do so much for them, and they are just pushing us away from both codes.

"I'm nearly here begging the camogie and football. We're talking about mergers, we're talking about everything and there seems to be a fundamental breakdown in communication where we're punishing players who are at the core of these sports, and we're punishing women in sport."


Looney said Cork's dual players will "literally play two days in a row, we'll play week in, week out, and we don't really complain."


"I look at the situation now," she continued.

"There's a weekend free where there's no match this year. Next weekend, there's two matches, the following weekend is free, there's a clash again, and the following weekend is free. The ladies football had three weekends to play the matches and they put the two Cork games on two weekends that the camogie matches are on.


"If you turned around to me and said it couldn't be done, and you had the reasons why, maybe then you have to hold your hands up. There seems to be possible solutions in this scenario."

17 March 2023; Anna Galvin of Kerry in action against Hannah Looney of Cork during the Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 match between Cork and Kerry at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Looney hopes that the proposed merger between the Camogie Association, GAA and LGFA would end such clashes.

"For me and many people, the merger is a no-brainer," she said.

"It's going to take huge strategic planning that might happen over five years. There needs to be huge education on equality and how cultural change like that can happen.


"The fundamental breakdown, and why these clashes happen, seems to be the communication between the Camogie Association and the football. I wonder do they talk at all? Maybe if they're under the one roof, you'd imagine the people on the board would talk.

"If the camogie and football did talk outside of dual clashes, we could work together and champion women in sport even more. I could be wrong, these are my opinions, but it just feels like we're fighting against each other when there's no need.

"Women have enough problems. There's no reason to be making more when there are easy fixes."


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