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Niamh Ní Chonchúir Just Wants Somewhere For Kerry To Call Home

Niamh Ní Chonchúir Just Wants Somewhere For Kerry To Call Home
By PJ Browne

Once a pitch was found, so they could at least train, there was a feeling that the day had not been a complete waste for the Kerry ladies football team.

On Saturday morning, their Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 2 clash with Clare was postponed with players already on their way to Doonbeg for a 3pm throw-in.

"I was travelling on my own with my mum, meeting the team at the ferry [in Tarbert], and we were gone out the road when we got a phone call to come back to Tralee," says Kerry forward Niamh Ní Chonchúir.

"The team themselves found out through Twitter, it took so long to get through to us. I think the biggest thing was how long it took to postpone the game because I think we knew ourselves Doonbeg wasn't going to be in the greatest of conditions with the storms.

"I had taken Saturday off, and I was going to work Sunday. Then it was like, 'Oh, we might train tomorrow'. We were all like, 'Well, we've taken today off. We need to work tomorrow'. That was it, 'I've taken a day off now, and we've done nothing'. We were lucky enough to get a field to train in. It was just about doing something once the game was cancelled."

Pictured are Kerry footballers Paudie Clifford and Niamh Ní Chonchúir at Clogher Strand, West Kerry in advance of the Lidl Comórtas Peile Páidí Ó Sé 2022, the famed men's and ladies club Gaelic football festival which takes place all across the Dingle Peninsula this weekend.

A disagreement subsequently broke out between Kerry joint-manager Declan Quill and Clare LGFA chairman Sean Lenihan. On Twitter, Quill bemoaned the lateness of the postponement, and added that Kerry had arranged for an alternative venue at the University of Limerick, but Clare turned it down. Lenihan told Clare FM on Tuesday that he was "extremely disappointed" with Quill's comments, and added that they had rejected the offer to play the game at UL as it had come too late. The two sides are due to play this weekend.

For Ní Chonchúir, the uncertainty of where Kerry will train, and play games, has been a constant during her brief inter-county career. She hopes that the proposed merger between the GAA, LGFA, and Camogie Association will end that as an issue.

"For us, we’re struggling right now to have pitches to train on," she said.


"As I’d say every female football and camogie team is. That’s just one of the important reasons [the merger] should happen.

"This time of year especially, not a lot of clubs are going to want to give their fields to us, when they are going to get cut up and ruined for the club teams trying to train on them. We’ve had a few clubs who have been very good to us – Kerins O’Rahillys, Legion, Fossa. They’ve been really generous with their fields.

"It won’t change overnight but if it does happen in a year or two’s time, things will hopefully get better for us. The management and the county board put in so much extra work trying to find them whereas it would be nice to have a home base.


"Last summer, we were in Kerins nearly all the time and it was so much easier for us to say, ‘Right, we’re going to Kerins’. Not the night before training saying, ‘Jees, where are we going? How long will it take to get there?’"

See Also: Deep Down, Paudie Clifford Always Knew He Had Kerry Chance

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