Double Header Feb 9 in O’Donnell Park
The Donegal LGFA ( Ladies Board) and CLG Dhún na nGall have held a number of meetings in recent months exploring greater co-operation between the two organisations and seeking ways to assist the promotion of Ladies Football in Donegal. Recently both bodies presented their Ulster Championship 2019 winning teams, with their medals at a joint Gala Presentation night in the Abbey Hotel in Donegal town. Another key outcome is scheduling of double-headers, where possible, on a trial basis. Donegal GAA Chairman Mick McGrath has confirmed two such double headers will take place in the coming months.
On February 9th the Allianz Roinn 1 League game between Donegal and Galway in O’Donnell Park at 2pm will be preceded by the same two teams meeting in their Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 clash at 12 noon. Before that game the Ladies travel to Waterford on Saturday February 1st and the men’s senior team play Meath in Páirc Tailteann on Sunday February 2nd.
A second double-header will be played in Fr Tierney Park in Ballyshannon on Sunday March 1st. The ladies will play Cork at 12 noon to be followed by the Allianz league clash between Donegal and Monaghan at 2 pm. McGrath has outlined that at this time of the year, weather is unpredictable and having two games on the same pitch is not always suitable. We have looked at both O’Donnell Park Letterkenny and Fr Tierney Park Ballyshannon and both grounds have back up adjoining pitches. In the event of adverse weather conditions occurring on the day this would allow a sudden transfer of pitch, without causing too much change to overall logistics.
Donegal County Board officials are also meeting all associated units to discuss the possibility that the Donegal and Tyrone LGFA Ulster championship game be the curtain raiser to the eagerly awaited Donegal v Tyrone Ulster Championship quarterfinal game in Páirc Shéain Mhic Chumhaill in Ballybofey on May 17th. A meeting is scheduled with the Ulster Council who have the management of all Ulster Championship fixtures, in February. Both parties will overview the venue, and the logistics involved in that fixture, which will probably be an all-ticket event. Our County Executive will discuss this request and direct our Ulster Council Delegates accordingly, before they decide on this matter.
Almost all GAA Clubs in Donegal now have Ladies’ teams, and most operate as one club. Even where separate they need to co-operate closely regarding training, games and coaching as they each share the same facilities. Mick McGrath sees the One Club model as a positive move forward although there seems to have been a slow down on the overall planned integrations of the bodies at National level, as outlined some years. This is the complete opposite at Club level, where he welcomes the local GAA Club as being the family hub for all Gaelic games.
In Donegal we have encouraged local Clubs to strive for a total community identity for all areas of Gaelic games, and this has evolved in family’s especially over the last number of years. We have tried to assist the Ladies Board wherever we can, and we shall continue to do that. We have and continue to endorse the upgrading and forward planning of new facilities in all Club areas.