By Denise O’Donoghue
The Cork ladies footballers are set to make history in their fixture against Westmeath later this month.
The clash will be the first time the ladies’ team will play at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Ephie Fitzgerald’s side take on Westmeath at 4pm on January 25 in defence of their Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 title.
As well as being the first time the Cork ladies will play a competitive fixture at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, they will also line out in a ‘double-header’ alongside their male counterparts at the venue.
The Cork men will take on Offaly in Division 3 of the Allianz League at 6pm that evening.
“Cork County Board is delighted to be able to facilitate this double-header at Páirc Uí Chaoimh,” said Tracey Kennedy, Cork GAA Chairperson.
“It’s a very special occasion, as these will be the first inter-county games played on the new pitch surface, and it’s wonderful to have both our men’s and women’s teams involved. I look forward to many more of these double-headers in the future.”
The Cork ladies were due to debut at Páirc Uí Chaoimh during the 2019 Lidl National League campaign but the ground was later made unavailable for the two planned games due to necessary remedial work.
The double-headers instead took place at Páirc Uí Rinn.
“First of all, it’s a huge stepping stone for us, and with that bit of history as well,” said Cork captain Doireann O’Sullivan.
Everybody was disappointed when that was unfortunately, and through nobody’s fault, taken away from us last year.
“We’re really looking forward to it and when you think of the great players who went before us who didn’t have this opportunity, we’re really lucky.
“There’s the added bonus that it’s a double-header and hopefully there will be a good crowd at it.
It’s a stepping stone for ladies football and for Cork as well. We’re delighted with it.
Cork LGFA Chairperson Neilus O’Carroll added: “I think it’s a dream come true for Cork Ladies Football, to get to play at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
“So many great players down through the years never played in their own main stadium, and it was a thorn for them.
“I always knew that change would come, especially when Tracey became Chairperson, and I’m delighted that it has come to pass.”