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*Gary Brennan. Photograph: Martin Connolly

Clare’s senior footballers have been dealt a mammoth blow as captain Gary Brennan will not be part of the panel in 2020.

Brennan who made his senior inter-county debut under the management of Páidí Ó Sé in 2007 has been a central part of Clare’s rise through the ranks in the Allianz National Football League going from a Division 4 team in Colm Collins’ first year in charge to now competing in Division 2.

Gary has confirmed to The Clare Echo that he would not be involved with the Banner in 2020. His departure had been mooted in recent months with members of the panel informed this week of his looming departure.

Next month, the St Flannans Irish and PE teacher will tie the knot with Limerick camogie All Star, Niamh Mulcahy. The pair will be travelling over the summer and subsequently have made the decision to leave their roles on their respective senior county squads.

Twice, Gary has been included in the Irish International Rules squad while following Clare’s run to the All-Ireland quarter-finals in 2016 he received an All Star nomination.

On the club front, the Clondegad man has been central to the club becoming a force at senior level. He was captain when they won the intermediate title in 2011 having come up short in 2004, 2006 and 2010. When they contested their first ever senior championship decider in 2017, Gary was at midfield with his brothers Cillian and Shane lining out at centre back and centre forward respectively, Shane had the distinction of captaining the side.

His absence will be a massive loss to Colm Collins’ side. Sean O’Donoghue who became a regular on the side last season has returned to live in America and will not be part of the panel while All Star nominee Jamie Malone of Corofin is currently overseas and is not expected to be back in time for the championship. Centre back Aaron Fitzgerald is out of action with a knee injury.

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