*Photograph: John Mangan

Ratification of sub-committees, an U19 league and question marks on a supposed missing account were among the talking points at the March meeting of the Clare County Board.

Who wants to play an under 19 league?

Finding a time to play an under 19 league (hurling and football) will be difficult, a number of delegates attending the March meeting of Clare GAA said last week.

During a discussion on the subject, board chairman Kieran Keating reminded clubs that they had until this Friday to indicate if they will take part in the under 19 league which, he said, will be played in April.

Cooraclare’s P.J. McGuane who is the chairman of Clare Coiste na nÓg suggested that such a competition “would have to be played midweek and clubs would have to be without under 17 and under 20 county players due to their schedule of games”.

O’Curry’s delegate Michael Curtin suggested that “it’s time to put a plan before the delegates”. Colm Browne who chaired the masters fixtures committee said “it’s a challenge to find dates”

Coiste na nÓg football secretary Anne Hayes suggested running the under 19 championship in June/July would result in the minor championship being pushed back.

Corofin’s Ambrose Heagney reminded delegates that “entries were received for an under 19 competition last year but only one game was played”.

Committees to be appointed:

Chairman Kieran Keating told the March meeting of the board that a number of committees have yet to be appointed. These include the Health and Well being committee, the youth committee and a club committee which will be asked to examine the isolated player issue as well as carrying out an examination of numbers in clubs in both rural and urban Clare.

The chairman informed delegates that former Éire Óg secretary, Paddy Smyth who is the board’s planning and training officer will chair a new committee which has been set up as part of the strategic review plan.

Another account?

Newly appointed Sixmilebridge delegate Pat Keane (he has replaced Niall Gilligan who stepped down from the position last week) asked “is there any truth that we have a second bank account with half a million it it”.

Replying chairman Kieran Keating said “there is a shop account which has been used for years for shop and programme sales in which there was about €400,000. It’s well known that it’s there as it has been on the audited accounts for many years”.

Audit committee chairman Michael Curtin also said that details of the account have been in the treasurer’s financial statement for many years before expressing concern that “the personnel that were involved running the shop and the PROs of the past twenty five years are now being castigated”.

Appointment of audit committee “a priority”:

O’Curry’s delegate Michael Curtin who has been chairman of Clare GAA’s audit committee for a number of years, told the March board meeting that “the appointment of an audit committee is a priority”.

He made his comments after Cooraclare’s P.J. McGuane had asked the board chairman “if the fundraising by the hurling and football supporters which is taking place at present is under the control of the treasurer. The strategic plan spoke about transparency and the word governance was mentioned about twenty five times”.

Replying the chairman said he had met with Club Clare (this group raises funds for Clare hurling and camogie) but he had not yet met with the football group. Club Clare has to come under the county board umbrella this year. The assistant treasurer of the board has been added to their committee”.

Michael Curtin told the meeting that “supporters clubs have no choice, they have to come under the county board. Under rule they have no choice any more”, he said.

Head of operations appointment:

“The wheels have started turning again” in relation to the appointment of a Head of Operations for Clare GAA, board chairman Kieran Keating told the March meeting of the board. It is the first time the title has been referred to as Head of Operations, up till now it had been Chief Operating Officer (COO).

“Things had stalled for a few weeks but the Runai’s contract has been provided to Croke Park now and hopefully things will move again and Croke Park will confirm that the stipend of €30,000 will be available. We had hoped to have this done in the first quarter but that won’t happen now but hopefully it will in the second quarter”.

Win a house:

Sales of 5,660 have been reached in the board’s ‘Win a house’ fundraiser, Kieran Keating told Tuesday night’s board meeting. “We are heading towards €100,000 in commissions for the clubs. We gave 2,000 tickets to the clubs and 600 of these have been sold but a lot of clubs have none returned yet. The draw will take place on May 2”, he said.

Committees ratified:

The Coiste na nÓg committees for 2022 were ratified at this week’s board meeting after football committee chairman P.J. McGuane pointed out that neither had been ratified by county board meeting.

The chairman expressed surprise when told that the ratification of the committees had not take place.

The meeting ratified the football committee of PJ. McGuane (chairman) Anne Hayes (secretary), Joe Talty, Marie Malone, Martin Frawley and Joe Kelly and the hurling committee of Neil O’Brien (chairman), Pat Gavin(secretary) Paul Gannon (treasurer) Fergal O’Brien, Stephen McNamara and James Corbett.

The meeting also ratified the appointment of Flan O’Reilly, Anne Hayes, Sean Chambers, Jim Enright, Joe Garry and Sheila Corcoran as the Culture and Scór committee.

Commemorative booklet:

Clare GAA vice chairman Michael O’Connor told this week’s board meeting that he had put a proposal to the officers to publish a booklet marking the 25th anniversary of Clare’s All-Ireland minor and senior hurling wins of 1997 and the 30th anniversary of Clare’s 1992 Munster football win.

“It will be an 80 page booklet which will be self financing and any monies raised will go towards the development squads. It will be a different type of book which I am teasing out at present and I have asked a couple of people for help,” the Crusheen man said.

Admission to games:

In reply to a query from former board and Munster Council chairman Robert Frost regarding the purchase of admission tickets to games, Kieran Keating confirmed that the purchase of match tickets will continue online for inter county championships.

Board treasurer Rebecca Sexton told the delegates that “we will be putting measures in place to assist patrons to purchase tickets for club games”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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