As we know, the GAA/GPA All-Stars recognise the best fifteen players for both of the GAA’s codes, Gaelic football and hurling.
When the season comes to its end, debates are sparked around the country in relation to who deserves to be named on the respective Teams of the Year.
While debates are widespread in the media when it comes to the male sport, the same cannot be said for the ladies equivalent of the game. As attention turns to the men’s games, the Ladies Gaelic Football and Camogie Associations are both overshadowed.
However, after such a brilliant, record-breaking 46,286 crowd in attendance recently at the ladies All-Ireland final between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park, a discussion has begun as to whether or not the annual All-Stars event should also include the women’s games to give them more recognition.
The debate was sparked by former Mayo footballer and current Newstalk pundit David Brady after he posted the following tweet:
With the momentum in Ladies Football would it not be a good thing to recognise the best of GAA in a joint Ladies&Mens All Star Awards Night?
— David Brady (@D9BMayo) October 2, 2017
The tweet gathered significant attention online, however one of the most interesting replies came from Feargal O’Rourke. Importantly, O’Rourke is the CEO of PwC, the newly-appointed sponsor of the All-Star event.
O’Rourke seemed more than happy to fulfil the request, and even though it seems incredibly unlikely to happen this year it is certainly something worth considering in the future.
One advantage would be that the women’s side of our beautiful game would gain more credibility, which in turn may generate more interest on a national level.
Even though it would be incredibly difficult to fit four Team of the Year announcements into one hour-long TV programme, if the All-Stars event were to be split up into Gaelic football/ladies Gaelic football and hurling/camogie on a separate night then it certainly sounds tangible.
Given PwC’s already strong links to the Women’s GPA an event like this occurring doesn’t look like it could be too far away.
Jason Redmond, Pundit Arena