Tipperary star Karen Kennedy pictured in action.
On Friday morning, March 27 the Camogie Association released a statement indicating that the governing body would “extend its current suspension of all camogie activities” until Sunday, April 19 in “light of the latest developments” with relation to the Covid-19 outbreak and based “upon advice from the relevant state authorities”. There is still hope, however, that prominent fixtures, like Tipperary’s league final against Cork or Clare, will take place.
The association’s annual congress (originally scheduled for April 3-4) has been deferred and will be rescheduled while fixtures “will be reviewed as further guidance is provided by the public health authorities”. The 2020 Féile na nGael has been cancelled while a “decision has been taken that all competitive fixtures will be scheduled at least two weeks after the return to games activity to enable teams to get back training”.
In March at Ballinasloe the Premier County beat the defending All-Ireland and national league champions Galway (1-8 to 0-10) to book their place in the division one final of the Littlewood’s National Camogie League for the first time in eleven seasons. Previous to that result Bill Mullaney’s fast-improving side got the better of Dublin (0-14 to 0-8) and Limerick (0-10 to 1-6) during the group phase of this year’s competition.
The winner of the clash between Cork and Clare will face Tipperary in the decider - fixture details to be confirmed.
Tipperary last appeared in the camogie league final in 2009 and last won it in 2004.
The Tipperary senior and intermediate camogie teams are both guided by an identical management team which is led by manager Bill Mullaney (Newport- Ballinahinch). The teams are coached by Eddie Costello (Drom & Inch - Eddie is also an S&C coach), Dinny Ferncombe (Holycross -Ballycahill) and Brian Kennedy (Foynes, Limerick) while Carmel Bradshaw (Ballina) and Mary Howard (Cahir) are both selectors. Carmel Bradshaw also performs the role of logistics manager. Kevin O'Connor (Kinnity, Offaly) works as a strength and conditioning coach with the players while Kellie Byrne (Holycross- Ballycahill) is the team physiotherapist. Maggie O'Grady (Thurles Sarsfields) takes responsibility for video analysis while Peter Maher (Thurles Sarsfields) is the equipment manager and the kit man is Kevin Bourke (Drom & Inch).
The 51-player Tipperary panel reads as follows: Clodagh Quirke, Cáit Devane, Emer Loughman, Sarah Fryday, Casey Hennessey (all Clonoulty-Rossmore), Grace O’Toole, Thea Curtin, Emma Flanagan (all Newport-Ballinahinch), Sabrina Larkin (Shannon Rovers), Róisín Howard (Cahir), Ciardha Maher, Ciara McKeogh, Ciara Houlihan, Jenny Grace, Emily Morrissey (all Burgess-Duharra), Andrea Loughnane, Laura Loughnane, Nicola Loughnane, Karen Kennedy (all Thurles Sarsfields), Ereena Fryday, Beth Ryan (both Knockavilla Kickhams), Mary Ryan (Moneygall), Roseanna O’Donnell, Jean Kelly, Aoife Butler (all Éire Óg Annacarty), Claire Stakelum (Holycross- Ballycahill), Mary Burke, Aoife McGrath, Eimear McGrath, Miriam Campion, Niamh Treacy, Niamh Long (all Drom & Inch), Laura Shinners (Kilurane MacDonagh's), Grace O’Brien, Hazel McAuliffe (both Nenagh Éire Óg), Caoimhe Purdue, Karin Blair, Aine O’Dwyer, Orla O’Dwyer , Nicole Shelly, Sorcha Ryan (all Cashel), Ciara Ryan (Silvermines), Clodagh McIntyre (Lorrha), Sarah Delaney (Boherlahan), Shauna Quirke, Margaret Quigley (both Toomevara), Nicole Walsh, Julieanne Burke (both Borris-Ileigh), Emma Mulqueen (Kiladangan), Carol Casey (Cahir) and Aisling Sheedy (Portroe).