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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
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Kennedy welcomes McCarthy’s committee pledge to appoint more women

Former Cork GAA chairperson Tracey Kennedy. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

The former Cork chairperson Tracey Kennedy has welcomed new GAA president Larry McCarthy's commitment to having female representation on all the centrally appointed committees he will oversee over the next three years.

McCarthy quickly lived up to his word by appointing Aoife Farrelly (Meath), Mary Judge (Galway) and Julie Galbraith (Donegal) respectively to the Competition Controls Committee, the Central Hearings Committee and the Central Appeals Committee, the three bodies that oversee discipline and proper adherence to rules.

While GAA committees have had much female representation in the past there hasn't been a commitment as McCarthy gave in his inauguration address on Saturday.

Roscommon's Seán Martin and Sligo's Marty Duffy will oversee the two referee committees, development and central referees appointments, replacing Willie Barrett and Pat Horan, while heads of the other committees will be confirmed in the coming days.

"I'd welcome the new president's intentions to have women involved in all the committees," said Kennedy.

"It is absolutely vital that there are women's voices in all committees and it was welcome to see him immediately following up on that by appointing women to three committees which were ratified to CCCC, CHC and CAC, three influential committees in terms of running of our games which is at the heart of our association.

Kennedy sees the principle as a step closer to delivering full integration between the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association.

"I'm a passionate believer in integration and hope it happens at some stage but even without that happening there are a huge number of women involved in all our clubs as members and going to our games where it is moving more towards a 50/50 situation in terms of attendances. It is important that female voices are heard in all decision-making and policy-making structures," she said.

"I think we are moving to a world where hopefully, with groups where there isn't some level of gender balance, they are becoming unacceptable."

Kennedy raised the question of integration during Saturday's Congress where it was clear that even closer co-operation was a priority.

“I understand there are difficulties aligning these things. It is not simply a question of bringing together three bodies together there are complexities.

"At a practical level where you could have three or four kids in a family, you have to pay membership to three or four different associations, even though they are all going training in the same pitch. From that level, all the way up to sponsorship, exposure, partnerships, double-headers between the men’s and women’s senior teams, all of these things are all in the future for the association."

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