Nine Cork camogie players denied request to join intermediate squad after incorrectly signing forms

The Cork intermediate panel were forced to withdraw from League opener today due to lack of numbers

Nine Cork camogie players denied request to join intermediate squad after incorrectly signing forms

©INPHO/Tommy Grealy

Nine senior Cork camogie players have been deemed ineligible for the intermediate inter-county panel on account of how they signed application forms to be regraded to the intermediate squad.

The players in question played no part in Cork's senior championship in 2015, which prompted them to apply to the Camogie Association to be regraded to the Intermediate panel.

The players filled out their application forms individually and sent them on the Cork Camogie secretary, who in turn submitted the forms to Croke Park for approval in accordance with the requirements for regrading players.

Earlier this week however, the nine players received a letter from Croke Park informing them that their applications had been rejected, because they typed their signatures when they should have signed the form with a pen. 

As a result, the Cork Intermediate squad were forced to forfeit their League opener against Antrim on Sunday as they are unable to field a team without the nine players. As for the players themselves, if they don't make the senior squad, they may not play any inter-county camogie this year.

According to the Cork Camogie secretary Mary McSweeney, the players went through this process of regrading last year and their applications were accepted, despite the fact they typed their signatures rather than signing them as the rules dictate.

Corke Park officials are claiming that the decision cannot be appealed but secretary Mary McSweeney insists that the Cork county board will protest the decision.

''We are not accepting this. These girls are Cork camogie. They want their voices heard. We will continue to fight this.''

''The girls are extremely frustrated. They filled out the form the same as they did 12 months ago and, yet, are being told they cannot play for their county and, unless they see game-time with the seniors, they face a year on the sideline with Cork.'' 

Elsewhere, Cork camogie captain Aisling Thompson fears that Camogie are lagging behind the Ladies Gaelic Football Association. And she says that the Camogie Association should aim to secure a sponsorship deal that matches the LGFA who have received €1.5m from Lidl as part of an unprecedented sponsorship alliance.

"It would be great if camogie got in there too, because you see so much Gaelic football and hurling on TV, you won’t see as much women’s sport. If camogie got something like that it would bring us up another level.

"We’ve had a lot of improvements over the last number of years, camogie is a lot bigger now but we’re still bottom of the pile when you compare us to other sports. Ladies football is really out there! And that was a really quiet sport, nobody could hear or see it".