All Ireland Ladies Football Finals rewind: 1974
The past few weeks in the Irish sporting calendar have been dominated by the Irish women’s team in competing in the World Cup in Australia. Tomorrow, more than 50,000 people are expected to attend Croke Park for the three All Ireland Ladies Football Finals, the showpiece of which sees Dublin and Kerry face off to try and win the Brendan Martin Cup. Irish women’s sport has obviously come along way and in particular the sport of Ladies Football (GAA). Key to this has been the promotion of the game both in terms of coaching and PR in newspapers and elsewhere. Here the Kilkenny People reports on the very first Ladies Football final in October 1974 between Tipperary and Offaly:
All-Ireland final for Durrow
THE SOUTH EAST hosts its first ever all-Ireland football final on Sunday when Tipperary and Offaly meet in a Gaelic football decider. The occasion is the ladies' first all-Ireland final, and the throw-in is at 3 p.m. With the big interest in ladies' football there should be a good attendance. Tipperary accounted for Waterford and Kerry on the way to the final. Laois and Galway were knocked out by Offaly.
It was obviously a low-key affair compared to the modern promotion of the game, again evidenced by this report in the Tipperary Star newspaper, although they did take great pride in the achievement:
Tipperary cailíní did honour to the county at Durrow on Sunday when, after a most exciting encounter, they beat a great Offaly team by 2-3 to 2-2. This is the year that looked doomed as fail as Tipperary sport was concerned, but the girls put things right on. Sunday. October 13th, 1974 will go down in the record 'books as the day when Tipperary ladies recorded the only win of 1974 and the only win to Tipperary football team since 1920, so let the Press please take mote of this fine achievement…
Neither Tipperary or Offaly will see action tomorrow (its over to the footballers of Down, Limerick, Clare, Kildare, Dublin and Kerry) but it is far to say that organisation has come a long way since 1974.