COUNCILLOR Anne Connolly has called on Kildare Co Council to – in its future planning – provide playing fields/centre of excellence for Kildare Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) as “ladies Gaelic football is the fastest growing sport, not alone in Kildare but in Ireland”.
The Kildare-Newbridge MD councillor tabled a motion at the full meeting of Kildare Co Council in October. A report issued by Sonya Kavanagh, Director of Services, Economic, Community & Cultural Development, said that the council has in the past “provided lands to many community and sporting organisations through various transfer and lease arrangements” and that through forward planning the council will continue to “provide for recreation and amenity facilities but will also have to prioritise land for housing and for the generation of employment”.
Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Connolly remarked that she is involved in the LGFA at county board level and feels strongly about this issue. Ladies football, she said, is the fastest-growing sport in the county with 40 clubs and 5,600 registered members and she also spoke of their success in recent years at various levels.
“It is imperative that those playing ladies football have the same opportunities as their male counterparts,” she said at the meeting.
There was support for Cllr Connolly’s motion across the room, including from Cllr Mark Wall of Athy Municipal District who said that ladies football has saved a lot of rural clubs in Kildare.
Ms Kavanagh explained that she didn’t disagree with the various points raised and that they will be looking at this. Councillors heard that no firm commitment can be given at the moment but that the requirements will be examined for the future.