*Anthony Daly & Marty Morrissey on commentary duty in Cusack Park. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
Two-time All-Ireland winning captain Anthony Daly has led the call for a major shake-up in the personnel sitting on the Clare County Board.
Writing in The Irish Examiner, the ex Clare captain and manager criticised the assistance received by current Banner hurling boss Brian Lohan from the County Board and the procedure followed prior to his appointment, “Lohan has faced one obstacle after the next since applying for the senior job”.
Dalo voiced his frustrations with the standard of facilities in the county and the absence of a flood-lit astro turf from Clare GAA’s Centre of Excellence at Caherlohan which to date has cost €4.8m. “Everyone in Clare knows that Caherlohan is not fit for purpose. There is no medical room and there is no defibrillator”. He commended club delegates David Solon of Whitegate and Tulla’s Brian Torpey for challenging county officials at Board meetings.
“The long-term viewpoint of the executive of the Clare County Board is so narrow that they can hardly even see out the window,” the Clarecastle man wrote.
Failure to discuss financial plans or future fundraisers at this week’s meeting of the County Board was a concern according to the three-time All Star.
As reported in this week’s Clare Echo, county secretary Pat Fitzgerald expressed his view at the April meeting that sustained criticism of Caherlohan was a personal “witch-hunt” against him and one he regretted not tackling sooner. Daly stated, “I’ve no interest in witch hunts. I’m just like any other genuine Clare hurling supporter — I want answers. This is nothing personal. It’s just business, and looking for our business to be run properly. So, is asking legitimate questions and seeking answers now a witch hunt”.
Clare GAA “are going backwards”, he believed. He referenced his three year stint as senior manager from 2004 to 2006 when the county reached two All-Ireland semi-finals and one quarter-final when a five day training camp to Portugal formed part of their preparation. “I know times have changed but something is seriously wrong when, nearly two decades later, the senior hurling manager had his head melted from just trying to find a pitch to train”.
Potential of Clare’s hurlers to have any form of success will be diluted dramatically if the issues persist, he said. “We’re all proud Clare people. We just want the best for our teams. We have a right to demand the best. But we’re not getting anything near that basic requirement”.
Colm Collins, current Clare football manager in an interview with The Irish Independent said they had been given “every opportunity to succeed”. “It annoys me to see the negativity of recent weeks and I’d say most Clare people feel the same. Anything within reason that we’ve asked for, we’ve got. As far as I’m concerned we’ve been given every opportunity to succeed. This stuff seems to be totally concentrated on the hurling side but I’d hate the impression to be given that the footballers will accept anything, because we won’t, far from it”.
All-Ireland winning manager Ger Loughnane recently wrote that Clare GAA was “in disarray”. The Feakle native has been a vocal critic of the County Board most notably the secretary.
Comments from Eoin Conroy who is part of the strategic review committee on Newstalk that the governance structures of Clare GAA are broken were endorsed by the five time Clare SHC winner. “Fresh blood, and a new way forward, is the only way they’re going to be fixed”.
Many ex Clare hurlers have shared the article by Daly online including Frank Lohan, Aaron Cunningham, Gerry Quinn and Darach Honan.