herald

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Aileen does the capital proud as she departs the Presidential Palace

AILEEN Lawlor left the Croke Park stage to sustained applause. Her reign as Camogie president had ended.

"The last three years have been an incredible journey," she told the Annual Congress, which was hosted in such splendid style by Pat Martin and the Dubs.

"I have been involved in camogie since I was eight," added Aileen who has enjoyed every swing and round-about on the road.

It included fond days with Crumlin and Dublin. And in Westmeath too. Refereeing accolades also fill the scrap-book.

AGENDA

And on taking top office, she placed refereeing matters high on the agenda.

"One of my aims was to increase the number of female referees at inter-county level. And thankfully in the last three years that has risen from two to 13."

She predicts sunny days ahead. "The sport has seen many changes over the years. And we shouldn't be afraid to try out new ventures in the future."

Yet Aileen expressed concern at the low attendance at last year's All-Ireland final, 13,000.

She'd love to see the turnstiles spinning quicker than ever to embrace the craft.

And she reflected on the 110th birthday of the Association, and the Ashbourne Cup marking its centenary year.

"The promotion of the game has come on in leaps and bounds."

Aileen's presence at the altar saw another giant step for woman-kind. Aileen slipped quietly away into Saturday's night. But her gentle foot-steps will echo forever.

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