Women's footballers and camogie players say they will consider striking if they don't see an improvement in conditions soon.
Players from across Ireland announced they will play the rest of the summer’s 2023 championships “under protest” as they feel like “second-class citizens” in their sports.
They are asking the LGFA, the Camogie Association and the GAA to enter talks with the Gaelic Players’ Association (GPA) and develop a charter designed to improve conditions for female players in the 2024 season.
At a press conference today, the senior inter-county Ladies Football and Camogie panel said the GAA declined this request, while the LGFA has not responded.
Dublin Senior Camogie Team Captain Aisling Maher said their protest was not an easy decision to make.
“We’re in a position where we’re forced to address this in the middle of our championships, that shows how seriously we take this,” she said.
“Striking from the matches is the last thing we want to do when we give up as much time and energy into the game as we do.
“[But] if we don’t see improvements in the circumstances and we don’t feel we’re being listened to and that our national governing bodies aren’t trying to interact with us, then we will be forced into a position of protest.”
Clare Camogie players Chloe Morey said female players are not treated with the respect they deserve.
“The message is clear - if you want strength and conditioning, sort it out yourself, if you want facilities sort it out yourself,” she said.
“Elite players of our national sport are being told to ‘sort it out yourself’.”
Meath footballer Vicki Wall said female players often make sacrifices for the sport beyond what is appropriate.
“Physio access within training is not given to us at the moment, so girls are taking money out of pocket going to physio outside of training, trying to sort something as simple as a niggle,” she said.
Ms Wall said these are conditions sportswomen are simply not willing to accept anymore.
“We're sitting here united as peers, but it transcends that for women's sports in general,” Ms Morey added.
“There’s young girls looking up to us, wanting to play county and we’re trying to inspire the younger generation to play their national sport, but do we really want to bring them into this environment?”
The GPA is the representative body for high-performance inter-county players in Ireland, focused on representation, welfare, development and equality.