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Gaelic Athletic Association - Oral History Project

Women: More Quotes

gaa oral history project

‘I grew up in the Past Pupils club. Therefore, we were all girls together. We trained in the school field. We had no clubhouse as such. If we had a visiting team, we had to get permission from the nuns to open the school. If we had an away game, we cycled if [the] venue was within range. Otherwise, we had to ask parents who were interested to drive us. A particularly generous parent used to carry so many in the back of his car that the rear wheels could not be seen. We wore the old traditional camogie uniform: white long-sleeved blouse, grey gymfrock with green sash, long black stockings, and canvas black boots. Most wore white ankle socks to break up the drag black look. When we won Cork championships, we went to the Savoy, first to the cinema and then to the restaurant for tea and cakes. A former member of our club was the manageress of the Savoy and she looked after us. Drink was unheard of. We went on an annual trip to Dublin. The big thing was to go to Cafollas on O’Connell St and see who could eat the most ice cream.’
—Mary Moran, 68, Cork
© GAA Oral History Project

‘I couldn’t imagine my mother ever attending a match. Now there are women who are officers of clubs. It’s for the better also. The mother is usually the one who is bringing the players to training/matches, so her input is vital. If she is not on the GAA club’s side, then the whole thing will fall down.’
—Adrian Hession, 31, Mayo
© GAA Oral History Project

‘Ladies Football has expanded rapidly among women and girls, as it is an attractive, skillful team sport. This has happened while camogie seems to have retained its popularity. However, more women need to get involved in coaching and refereeing.’
—Donal Daly, 57, Offaly
© GAA Oral History Project

‘Probably the economic successes of the past 15 years has been a drawback in some instances, as prosperity meant more people were taken up capitalising on the boom at the expense of getting involved in their clubs. More women at work meant less women in the home, so fewer people to drive children to games etc. during the week.’
—Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin, 53, Limerick
© GAA Oral History Project

‘In terms of the roles of women, they are no longer just the tea and sandwich makers. They have input into the workings of the GAA and have influence in the decision-making process. Despite this observation, however, there is obviously still a long way to go in achieving a balanced representation within the workings of the GAA. Furthermore, while many of the younger women involved in the GAA have moved away from the tea-making duties, those carrying out these duties are still largely women.’
—Laura Kelly, 25, Fermanagh
© GAA Oral History Project

‘I remember when I went for the interview for my post in school in County Wexford VEC. One of the panel said to me, "How could you possibly pick a football team, what do you know about football, you’re only a woman!" ... I said I grew up at the end of a hurling stick and I have inter-county players as uncles … They couldn’t handle it, it was something strange, something new, it was strange, it was new. I was probably encroaching on their territory, what they deemed their territory. It didn’t seem strange or new to me because I was involved since I could hold a hurley, having grown up in a family with hurling and football all my life.’
—Honora Kavanagh Martin, 65, Wexford
© GAA Oral History Project

‘They’re great in club activities as regards promotion and selling tickets and making a cup of tea in the club house.’
—Paddy Wickham, 70, Wexford
© GAA Oral History Project

‘The introduction of Ladies Football and the expansion of camogie has been the single most influential factor in the GAA. With these games, and particularly football, the active membership of the GAA increased spectacularly, and a whole new surge of able and dynamic members began to participate in all levels of club activity.’
—Fintan Walsh, 72, Laois
© GAA Oral History Project

‘I do think that it is still a male-dominated organisation, and while they are appreciative of the work that women contribute to the smooth running of the organisation, they don’t really encourage much the "promotion" of women within the GAA. In my opinion, they are quite content to let women do the ‘background’ stuff, but jealously guard any position that might be considered "men’s’ territory"!’
—Marianne Lynch, 49, Monaghan
© GAA Oral History Project

‘The participation of women brings the whole family along which is important. Also women are very involved in administration, such as club and county secretaries. Also many act as coaches, and generally an asset to any club as well as adding a bit of glamour to the scene.’
—Pat Burke, 60, Tipperary
© GAA Oral History Project

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