Mayo hurlers being shut out from MacHale Park "disappointing", says Staunton

May 05, 2022

Mayo's Cora Staunton before the Connacht SFC final clash against Galway at MacHale Park, Castlebar.

Cora Staunton says Mayo senior hurlers are right to feel aggrieved after not being permitted to play their upcoming Christy Ring Cup games at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park.

Derek Walsh’s side will reach the competition’s final at Croke Park if they can win their remaining home fixtures against Sligo and Derry over the next two Saturdays.

However, they must continue to play their home games at James Stephens Park in Ballina after being told that MacHale Park – which was recently resurfaced and hosted the Mayo v Galway SFC semi-final last Sunday week – was off limits. 

Speaking at the launch of the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Legends Tour Series, Mayo legend Staunton said that the county’s hurlers should be accommodated.

"If you've played ladies football at any stage you can certainly empathise with them," she is quoted saying by RTE Sport.

"Unfortunately, in my time with Mayo, that was probably a very common theme, especially from the point of view of being able to train at MacHale Park.

"We obviously did play there, the Connacht final was there on a number of occasions. But yeah, it’s very disappointing in this day and age where we’re talking about equality - whether it’s in women’s sport or within the GAA right across (the board). It’s disappointing that if you’re a county hurler in Mayo and you’re training for eight, nine, 10 months that you can’t play in your home ground.

"Then you hear on the back of it that the Mayo men’s footballers were training there. That’s disappointing - especially after the redevelopment of the pitch. It’s not as if we've had particularly bad weather the last while.

"My opinion is, whether you are a hurler, a footballer, a ladies footballer or camogie player, your home ground is your home ground and everyone should have equal access to it. You’d hope by Saturday the Mayo hurlers are playing in MacHale Park."

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