It was confirmed this morning that Cora Staunton has decided that her days as a Mayo player are definitely over. Following the unrest in the camp last year, it was always a long shot as to whether or not she’d don the county colours again. Cora has now confirmed that, as she said herself, her “Mayo days are done.”
Cora Staunton is, without doubt, one of the finest Gaelic footballers the county has ever produced. She is certainly the most decorated. With an inter-county career spanning all of 24 seasons, Cora won four All-Ireland medals, three National League medals and an incredible eleven All-Star awards.
Her achievements made her a household name across the country and during her long tenure as an inter-county star she contributed greatly to putting ladies Gaelic football on the map.
Last year’s schism was always likely to mean that Cora wouldn’t play for her county again. It was an outcome she addressed in a fairly sanguine manner in her autobiography that was published late last year and so today’s news merely affirms what had been obvious for some time.
Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of the dispute, it’s regretful that the curtain wasn’t brought down on Cora’s inter-county career in a more appropriate way. It’s also the case that the way her time with Mayo ended shouldn’t cloud the enormous contribution she made to the county team while she was involved with it.
Cora’s not done yet, of course. She’s currently enjoying a second season in Australia with AFLW team Greater Western Sydney Giants and she’ll be back in harness at club level with Carnacon – with whom she’s won six All-Ireland club titles as well as countless county and provincial honours – once the season Down Under is over.
But Cora’s time with the county is, for sure, now over. And what a time it was. There truly never will be another footballer like her. Thanks for the memories Cora, and for everything you contributed to the county over all those years.