By Oiscin Cusack
Galway Football Secretary Mary Judge has called for more women to pursue active roles within the GAA at both county and club level.
Ms. Judge was last month appointed by GAA president Larry McCarthy to sit on the GAA’s top committee the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC), becoming the first ever female to do so.
Ms. Judge believes that now is the time for more women to take up similar roles highlighting the importance of gender parity within the GAA.
“I think gender balance is very important; women have a lot of valuable expertise and experience to offer on any committee. I think in the past women were reluctant to take on active roles because the GAA was male dominated but that shouldn’t be the case,” she said.
Despite the call for more women to take up roles, Ms. Judge said that there are more women involved than when she first started out.
“When I first started out there was not many women involved at any level within the GAA. There are more women involved nowadays in every aspect of the GAA though. The growth of Ladies Football and Camogie has seen a huge influx of women specialising in coaching, refereeing, management and administration at all levels,” she said.
While now Galway Football Secretary and sitting on the GAA’s top committee, the (CCCC), Ms. Judge outlined that it was at club level where she began to become involved with the GAA.
“I served on a club subcommittee in Galway first before serving there as club secretary. I was then appointed to the county hearings committee for a couple of years. After that I was elected as Development officer on the Galway County Committee in 2012, becoming the first woman to hold office there too.
In 2018, I took on the role of secretary of Galway Football Committee, it was from here then that I was appointed to the national committee (CCCC) last month,” she said.
Ms. Judge believes that if women want to get involved in similar roles to hers, they must ultimately make it known or risk making zero inroads.
“My advice is if someone wants to get involved, they must make it known and just go for it, follow the processes in place and there is always plenty of work for volunteers,” she said.