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'Up for the Match' up for the ladies?

A Wexford councillor says RTÉ should ‘move with the times’ and provide pre-match coverage of the camogie and ladies’ football finals, as they do for the hurling and football finals.

This little lady not represented by RTÉ's coverage, says Wexford Cllr
This little lady not represented by RTÉ's coverage, says Wexford Cllr
Image: boocal via flickr

FORMER WEXFORD MAYOR, Cllr Joe Ryan, has called on the state broadcaster to provide equal coverage to all GAA finals.

Currently, RTÉ broadcasts an ‘Up for the Match’ programme ahead of the men’s hurling and football finals, but not for the camogie or ladies’ football finals.

This year, Cllr Ryan’s home county is to meet Galway in the camogie final on September 11.

He told TheJournal.ie that the work the GAA is doing at grassroots level, through volunteers, should be supported by RTÉ.

It comes as the station prepares to broadcast the first of its ‘Up for the Match’ programmes, presented by Des Cahill and Gráinne Seoige.

The hurling show will be broadcast on Saturday September 3, the eve of the All-Ireland final between Kilkenny and Tipperary at Croke Park.

RTÉ has responded to Cllr Ryan’s request to say that they will take his remarks into consideration, but that he shouldn’t expect any further correspondence on the issue.

The broadcaster has given Cllr Ryan a guarantee that they will forward his mail to the Head of RTÉ Sport, Ryle Nugent, and they’ve promised to note his comments in a log which is read by senior editors.

Cllr Ryan insists he in not simply ‘wearing his county colours’ in calling for his county’s camogie final to be given the same sort of pre-match warm-up the men’s football and hurling fixtures are given.

Instead, he’s described the traditional coverage of the men’s finals as outstanding in its promotion of the games, but wants RTÉ to move with the times.

Cllr Ryan says the fact that the All Ireland Hurling final sees the same pairing this year of Kilkenny V Tipperary as in 2009 and 2010 reduces the appeal of the programme.

He adds that RTÉ should make the changes to their 2012 programme schedule, in the interest of providing sporting equity.

Further, he’s pointed out that as RTÉ already sponsors the camoige event, this would be a logical step.

Cllr Ryan told TheJournal.ie that he is a sports fan who feels that women’s gaelic games events have been ignored.

He’s pointed out that when Wexford won the camoige All Ireland last year they came home to a reception of 10,000 people, while the audience at Croke Park for the fixture numbered 20,000.

He says he is convinced there is no difference between men and women in terms of what they have to do to get to the top of the sporting ‘stack’.

The former mayor says he’s had a positive response to his comments on Facebook, and that’s encouraged him to follow through with it.

Finally, he’s pointed out that much of Ireland’s medal hopes at next year’s Olympics will be pinned on women, like Katie Taylor, making women’s sports relevant and important.

Read more about the upcoming All-Ireland Hurling final>

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