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Saturday 3 December 2016

'Sexist' GAA gives medal to camogie star while male winner goes skiing

Catherine McGourty
Catherine McGourty

A leading camogie player has slammed the GAA as she picked up a medal for winning the Poc Fada, while her male counterpart scooped a skiing trip.

Catherine McGourty, from Down, beat all before her in the camogie Poc Fada Ulster Championship, on Hen Mountain in Down, while Tyrone's Paddy McKillion won the male equivalent.

But despite playing the exact same course as the men, all Catherine received was a medal while McKillion will jet off on a skiing holiday.

Speaking to the Irish News, McGourty slammed the decision as "totally sexist", while Ulster Camogie has insisted that the men's prize was organised centrally by the GAA along with a sponsor.

Course

The competition took place last Monday.

"We went round the course the exact same route as the men, we were actually following them around the route," said McGourty.

"In camogie, we play a size-four ball, but when we got there, we found they only had size 5, so we all, male and female, played the exact same.

"When we got back into the Clonduff club rooms, it was in the speech before the prizes were given out that I first heard about the skiing holiday and that it would only be going to the male winner.

"We were told it was to do with the sponsor. But they didn't say anything else, no explanation was given at all.

"It's the principle of it, the Ulster GAA should not be doing this, we did the exact same route as the men, so I'm disappointed in the way we have been treated.

"We aren't trying to take away from the winner. He didn't ask for the prize and I didn't even know there was a skiing holiday to win beforehand, so that's not why I entered.

"But it came as a shock that they can do this, it's totally sexist," she said.

Support

Ulster Camogie released a statement saying that the men's prize was organised by the GAA centrally, along with two sponsors.

"For the last 10 years, Ulster GAA and Ulster Camogie have organised a series of events to jointly promote hurling and camogie throughout the province," it said.

"The O'Neill's Ulster GAA Poc Fada is organised by Ulster GAA on an annual basis with endorsement and support from Ulster Camogie.

"Both male and female competitors take part in separate competitions and Ulster GAA does not put up a prize other than medals for the winners.

"The Central GAA, in conjunction with two sponsors, organised a prize for the Senior Men's Poc Fada winner and this falls outside the remit of the Camogie Association and the Ulster bodies."

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