Women to the Fore

November 7, 2018

PEIL na mBAN Recently it was reported in one of the dailies that there were less then 15,000 registered women rugby players in England and that the association was putting in a huge effort to bring that number up to 25,000 by 2016. This in a country with a population of 60 million (approx 50% female). Comparison of these figures with those for Ladies Gaelic Football (LGFA) in Ireland – approx 150,000 adults and juveniles in a population of less than one tenth that of England – leads to the realisation of what a sporting phenomenon has been the growth in the 21stcentury of Ladies Gaelic. And this without any intense promotional campaign in the media. Three factors which have contributed significantly to this growth spring readily to mind: the excellence of the sport itself as was illustrated in the 3 recent All-Ireland finals, particularly the senior game between Cork and Dublin – excitement, skill in abundance, athleticism and wonderful scores. Ladies Gaelic has the added advantage that it is synergic with soccer and particularly with basketball.

This burgeoning was also greatly aided by the unique community based structure of the G.A.A. And by the fact that it had at its disposal throughout the country mentors willing to work with ladies teams. Finally there was what might be called “the tide in the affairs of man” syndrome viz. The development of the sport coincided with an increased consciousness all-round of the need for more females to become involved in team sports including those which hitherto had been almost exclusively the preserve of men.


Éire Óg, up to about 2 years ago, had quite a successful adult ladies team but migration and other factors led to its demise. The club has sorely felt its loss. Thankfully a lot of work is now being done with girls from u-14 down and hopefully this will come to adult fruition in the near future. Training for these girls takes place on Thursdays at 6.30 pm in Éire Óg's grounds.

Mentors: u-10 Martin Roche and Eileen Hanlon, u-12 Séamus Ahern, u-14 Ray McTeague and Mick Moore.


Our u-14 girls have advanced to the final of the B-championship by virtue of a semi-final win over Carnew in Carnew on the score 4-10 to 1-3. With the game being played on sloping terrain, memories of the old Greystones pitch were evoked. Carnew won the toss and chose to play with the slope and the wind but this proved to be of little advantage against a truly determined and committed Greystones who led at the break 2-6 to 1-3. Carnew did not score in the 2nd period.

Congratulations to the girls on what was a wonderful team effort.

Aoife McTeague and Frances Dallaghan had the upper hand in the centre and Eva Roche and Aisling Lawrence backboned a fine defensive unit in which Alice O'Neill and Claudia Randles also starred. All six forwards scored from play, Rachel Purcell (3-2), Eva Moore and Katie Lawlwss (0-2 each) and Ellie O'Neill Ellen Prendergast, Niamh Hanrahan and Sorcha Long each added a point. Katie O'Reilly bravely volunteered for goals and played very well. She moved outfield in the 2nd half and was equally effective there.

The final v Valleymount is fixed for this coming Saturday in Roundwood at 3 pm.


The u-12s travelled to Ballinakill on Saturday to play Carnew in the final of the B plate. The weather was summerlike, the nets were up and the pitches marked (well done to all involved) and the event was run off very efficiently. The consensus in the Éire Óg camp was of a very enjoyable occasion, a great day out which was enhanced by the fact that victory was ours. The team had won the B league and were hotly tipped to win the championship. However, the competition started towards the end of the summer holidays when many players were not available and as a result the mentors were forced to field a much weakened team against An Tóchar in the 1st round. Éire Óg lost and were consigned to the subsidiary Plate competition. The final was very competitive and enjoyable and both sides were deserving of our praise for their efforts.

At half-time Éire Óg led 2-6 to 2-0 and were 4-8 to 3-2 ahead at the final whistle.

Foireann: Alana Nic Sheáin, Laura McMillan, Andrea Hanlon, Eimear Ryan, Aisling Duggan, Alice O'Neill, Megan Maguire, Eva Megannety, Sophie Fitzgerald, Jayne Merren, Niamh Hanrahan, Eimear Fawcett, Ella Horgan, Aisling Roche, Kerri Williams, Maebh O'Neill, Ellie O'Malley, Ella O'Reilly and Sarah Lucey.