6 April 2024

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First Male President of the Camogie Association Ratified at Congress 2024 as Motion on Skort Fails to Pass

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First Male President of the Camogie Association Ratified at Congress 2024 as Motion on Skort Fails to Pass

The first male Uachtarán of the Camogie Association, Brian Molloy, was ratified at the organisation’s annual Congress, which took place this weekend at the Westgrove Hotel in Clane, Co. Kildare. In attendance at the event were 150 representatives from counties, provincial councils and delegates from the Association’s international units along with outgoing Uachtarán, Hilda Breslin.

Speaking at Congress, Brian Molloy thanked all of the attendees and expressed his heartfelt gratitude to outgoing Uachtarán, Hilda Breslin, for her outstanding dedication and exemplary leadership as Uachtarán of the Camogie Association over the past four years.

Brian Molloy said:

“This is a very special moment and indeed an historic moment for our Association, as I am the first male to be elected president of the Association in its 120 year history. I am very proud to take on this role and very grateful to have been given this opportunity to lead the Camogie Association. We have a fantastic game that is a fundamental part of Irish culture.

Integration with the GAA and the LGFA has long been on the agenda within the Camogie Association. We have been consistently in favour of integration and steadfast in our belief that the new combined and fully integrated singular Gaelic Games Association will be a stronger, more balanced Association.

There are some steps towards integration that we can start to take right now. It starts with all three associations adopting an integrated mindset and reflecting that in their decisions and engagements now. We still tackle our day to day challenges but we tackle the challenges through the prism of how we would operate if we were already integrated”.

Delegates at the Camogie Association Congress voted on a range of motions throughout the event. Some of the rule changes are as follows:

Skorts

Great Britain proposed the inclusion of shorts as part of the playing uniform within Rule 6. There was in-depth discussion at Congress on the topic, with many counties providing insightful feedback from surveys completed by their younger and senior players. The motion resulted in 45% of the delegates voting in favour and 55% against.

Motion 56 was proposed by Tipperary to replace the ‘skirt/skort/divided skirt’ entirely with ‘shorts’ as part of the playing uniform. The motion did not pass with a 64% vote against. The next time delegates can vote on the playing uniform will be at Congress in 2027.

Meaningful Playing Time

Motions 25 to 28 were presented to introduce new rules inspired by the latest Meaningful Playing Time Report, which was published in February 2024 following extensive research. These motions aimed to enhance playing opportunities for players by permitting eight substitutes at underage intercounty games and adult club games in both intercounty and club games. Additionally, there will be an unlimited number of substitutes permitted at underage club level.

Further motions included a provision to disallow players from competing in higher age categories at intercounty level; for instance, minors are now restricted from participating on adult intercounty teams. This rule will come into effect on a staggered basis for Tier 1 counties in 2025, followed by Tier 2 counties in 2026 and Tier 3 counties in 2027.

Following the approval of all Meaningful Playing Time motions, this decision marks a significant step towards fostering increased participation amongst players, promoting a culture of lifelong engagement with our sport.

Rule Changes

Five motions on potential new Playing Rules were presented to Congress 2024 by Iar Uachtarán CLG, Liam O’Neill, with three being adopted into rule.

Playing Rule 5.2 relating to the temporary substitution/blood substitution was passed, which means sets out in rule the manner in which potential concussion is dealt with during a game.

Rule 10.2 was also passed, which means a player must not deliberately shoulder and opponent other than shoulder to shoulder or charge directly into an opponent’s body, with or without the sliotar.

New Rule 12.1 was defeated, which means sideline pucks from the hand are not permitted.

The motion which considered allowing a quick puckout was also narrowly defeated.

On the rule changes accepted at Congress, Hilda Breslin, outgoing Uachtarán of the Camogie Association, who addressed Congress for the final time, said:

“Today is about progressing and transforming our organisation to ensure that we continue to further improve the enjoyment of playing and watching our game. Three years ago, Congress introduced major changes to our playing rules. The revisions recognised the changing nature of women’s sport and the need to promote the speed and skill of Camogie. Today those rules have progressed further. Concussion is now recognised which is a major step in the game. It’s important that any signs leading to a suspicion of a concussion for a player, at any level or any age, the player should be removed immediately from play, and not return to action on the same day. It must be taken seriously.

As Brian Molloy comes in as Uachtaran of the Camogie Association, I want to wish him all the best as we look to the future. Let’s value all our players for the part they will play in our Association now and beyond. Let’s make our clubs even more inclusive communities, building a foundation for lifelong enjoyment, participation and support for Camogie.”

Also in attendance at Congress were Jarlath Burns, Uachtarán of the GAA, Helen O’Rourke, CEO of the LGFA and Tom Parsons, CEO of the GPA.

Jarlath Burns, Uachtarán of the GAA addressed the Congress delegates and expressed his full support for the current move towards integration.  He said:

“I would like to pay tribute to the outgoing President Hilda Breslin for her commitment to the process. I look forward to working with the new President Brian Molloy in the near future. The new Hurling Development Committee will work hard to create new hurling and camogie clubs in areas where there is currently room for development. The GAA will ensure the association is ready to face the challenges and opportunities that full integration presents for Gaelic games across the globe.”

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