There is also greater concentration of All-Ireland camogie titles than Ladies Football All-Ireland titles. Despite starting over forty years later (in 1974) the Ladies Football titles have been distributed between twelve counties. The HH Index for Ladies Football is 1,531. For the sake of completeness the HHI for All-Ireland senior (male) football is 1,383 – a competition that started in 1885. Therefore, of the four senior competitions, Camogie is the most concentrated when it comes to the spread of titles.
What is more interesting is the changing time profile of camogie winners. One or two counties dominate the competition for a sequence of years before being replaced by other counties. Dynasties come and go. Dublin is the best example of how this dominance changes. They won every title between 1948 and 1966 with the exception of 1956. That is 18 out of 19 titles. Since 1966 Dublin has won only one other camogie title (1984).
Cork won the title in 1941 but had to wait until 1970 for their next title. There then followed 8 titles in the next fourteen years. Cathy Landers, mother of current Cork senior hurler Seamus Harnedy, collected six medals during this period.
Cork dominated the early 1970s. Then Kilkenny arrived on the scene. Powered by the Downey sisters, Kilkenny won all of their 12 titles between 1974 and 1994. Great battles between Cork and Kilkenny were a feature of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Kilkenny then took over winning seven-in-a-row from 1985.
Similar patterns emerge in other periods and for other counties. Wexford have won four of their seven titles since 2007 (as they shared the limelight with Cork). Antrim won five of their six titles between 1945 and 1967. Tipperary won their four titles in a six year period from 1999. It seems that good teams come and go.
Yesterday’s final was contested by Kilkenny and Galway. Kilkenny last won the title in 1994 whereas Galway last won it in 1996. Given the history of the competition, yesterday’s Galway win could signal the rise of another dynasty. Then
again, their 1996 title proved a false dawn. We will have to wait and see what happens.