‘It’s disappointing for players, but there’s a middle ground’ – fallout continues after All-Ireland underage series axed

A LEADING SENIOR inter-county footballer and Aussie Rules star has weighed in on the cancellation of the ladies football All-Ireland series at underage level for 2021.

Ladies Gaelic Football Association [LGFA] top brass recently confirmed its decision not to schedule national U14, U16 and minor inter-county competitions for the second year in-a-row, while the GAA pushes on with its equivalent.

The LGFA has informed counties that provincial championships can be organised at these age-grades up to the end of August.

Cork and Limerick are among the counties to have released strongly-worded statements calling on the LGFA to consider a U-turn, with Rebels minor boss Joe Carroll sharing his disappointment with The42 last week:

  • ‘Terribly disappointing’ – Fallout after All-Ireland minor ladies football series scrapped again 

The LGFA has since defended its decision in a lengthy statement provided to The Irish Examiner this week, citing “player welfare” as a key factor — among others — behind the scrapping of the underage All-Ireland series.

Cavan’s Aishling Sheridan was asked for her opinion at the 2021 Lidl Ladies National Football League launch yesterday, to which she gave a measured response.

“It’s a difficult one. It’s one I’ve thought about quite a bit and I’ve looked at it from both sides. I obviously played U14, U16, minor and that’s where you make great friends and develop the want to play senior.

Aishling Sheridan was speaking at the 2021 Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues launch.

“It’s unfortunate given the circumstances that there may not be an All-Ireland series for them. I think there is talk that there will be interprovincial, which is still better than nothing. I think you have to take into account everything that has gone on in the last year.

“When I look at it from the LGFA perspective, they’re just trying to put the health and safety of all players first. I know it’s obviously disappointing for the underage players but the LGFA are only trying to put everyone’s health first.

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“There’s a middle ground there that they should be happy with. Obviously there’s no All-Ireland semi or All-Ireland finals but if there was potential for the provincial, then that’s still good given the current circumstances in the world right now.”

Please see below link to a Statement released by @CorkLGFA in response to no underage All-Ireland @LadiesFootball Championships taking place this year https://t.co/27VMd1GRBN

— Cork LGFA (@CorkLGFA) May 16, 2021

Statement released by Limerick Ladies Football County Board and underage management teams relating to the cancellation of the 2021 underage competitions.

Read the statement on our website: https://t.co/o3e5AR0g6M pic.twitter.com/2XPx8Vkcnr

— LimerickLadiesGaelic (@LKLadiesGaelic) May 18, 2021

Cork minor player Grace Murphy has set up a petition as the fallout continues, which had 1.313 supporters at the time of writing.

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The description reads: “The LGFA have made the devastating decision to not run a minor, U16 or U14 All Ireland championship for underage girls football county teams this year, despite restrictions allowing them to do so and despite the fact that the underage men’s football team, underage men’s hurling teams and camogie teams running the campaign.

“This petition is an effort to draw attention to the desire and demand for a minor, U16 and U14 All-Ireland ladies football campaign this year, just as the men’s football and hurling minor teams are competing in, as well as the minor camogie teams.

“By signing this petition, you are showing your support in the chance for underage girls all over Ireland to showcase their talent and for their hard work and dedication to finally get the recognition it deserves.”

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