With the announcement of equal grant funding for Ladies GAA and more games to be broadcast on national TV, female intercounty stars are finally getting the support and airtime they deserve

Nicole Owens celebrates with teammates from left, Lyndsey Davey, Carla Rowe, and Caoimhe O’Connor after the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship Final match between Cork and Dublin, December 2020. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

The week began with the landmark commitment from the Government to provide female GAA players with the same amount of funding as their male counterparts, and now we are set to see more ladies games on screen too. 

TG4 announced it will broadcast 150% more games from the 2021 LGFA Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues. This rise from four to 10 games is a strong commitment from the station in support of women’s sport, and along with the increase in government funding, marks huge strides for representation of women in sport in Ireland. 

Treble the support 

Anna Rose Kennedy of Tipperary in action against Melissa Duggan of Cork during the Lidl Ladies NFL Division 1 Round 3 match between Cork and Tipperary at Páirc Ui Rinn in Cork. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Under the current model of state funding, male players receive €1,200, while female players get just €400. The allocation for females will be tripled, meaning all gaelic games players will receive the same amount of funding for the first time. 

Speaking on Today with Claire Byrne, Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers said that he couldn’t stand over or defend that inequality”. 

“We’re in 2021 and this year we’ve seen the GPA and WGPA has merged, underpinned by the message of equality. I think that principle has to stand when it comes to the funding of our players,” he said. 

For all of our young women and girls playing Gaelic football, we need to make sure there is no artificial glass ceiling when it comes to sport.”

The total funding from the government to GAA players will rise to €5.3m overall. Female intercounty players were in receipt of €700,000, a figure that is now set to rise to €2.4million. 

Tune in 

Máire Ní Bhraonáin

TG4’s 2021 coverage of the Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues will get underway with Friday night action on May 21, with Division 1’s Cork v Tipperary clash broadcast live at 7.30pm. The following day will see neighbours Galway and Mayo lock horns at 7.30pm.

Peil na mBan Beo will be presented by former Galway footballer Máire Ní Bhraonáin, who will be joined by an expert panel for analysis including Waterford’s Michelle Ryan, Dublin’s Sorcha Furlong and Sinéad Finnegan, Cork’s Rena Buckley and Rhóna Ní Bhuachalla, Meath Star and current TG4 Intermediate Player of the Year Vikki Wall.

TG4 will broadcast four group games from Division 1A and Division 1B, in addition to the semi-finals for Division 1. TG4 will also exclusively broadcast all four Divisional finals on the weekend of June 26/27, with Division 1 and 2 finals airing on TG4, and the Division 3 and 4 finals broadcast on Spórt TG4’s YouTube Channel.

Games will also be available globally on Spórt TG4’s YouTube channel and on the TG4 Player App.