Annual 2011 Camogie Congress In Belfast

THE Camogie Annual Congress was held in Belfast last weekend for the first time in its 107th year history. In a very close battle for the post of President Elect, Ulster’s Catherine O’Hara was narrowly pipped at the post by Aileen Lawlor (Westmeath). In her Presidential address an Uachtaran, Joan O’Flynn, praised the amount of work being done to promote Camogie in Antrim and Ulster.  In an inspirational speech she said, 27 Camogie Presidents have stood and addressed Congress in our 107 year history.  Before now, none had the honour of doing so in Belfast or in Antrim.  On your behalf, and in your name, it is a privilege for me to do so today.  Antrim and Ulster have a proud and rich Camogie tradition and remain faithful to our Gaelic heritage.  All our Counties and Provinces are likewise.  But for Antrim and Ulster the challenges were greater and you remained loyal during political conflict and difficult times that most of the rest of us did not encounter.  You endured for a better society and we are here today in a changed and changing community, in a better place, in a more equal place.  In Ireland, as in many societies, identity is a contested concept.  Camogie is integral to our identity and it expresses: *  Our national identity. *  Our female identity. *  Our community identity. “Camogie is symbolic of our distinctiveness, our Irishness. Being distinctive is not about being divisive.  Camogie creates a human togetherness and a connectedness – regardless of our age, our beliefs, our social circumstances or our life journeys.  That is the lasting power of Camogie.  That is why sport matters.  Camogie uplifts us and inspires us.  It changes community lives by opening doors to better health, to social inclusion, to sporting excellence and to community participation” she concluded. Full coverage of the Congress and her speech can be seen at]]>