*Wolfe Tones’ Daithí Lohan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

The 2024 Clare intermediate football championship will be run similar to the senior competition.

There will be three groups of four with three semi-finalists from 2023 seeded (the fourth semi-finalist Kilmihil, will compete at senior level).

The team relegated from senior in 2023 (Clondegad) will join a seeded team in one of the groups and the team which finishes third in that group will automatically qualify for the quarter finals along with the top two teams in each of the three groups. The remaining quarter finalist will be decided by a play off between the third placed teams in the other two groups.

The motion for this format was proposed by O’Currys and was formally moved at this Monday’s structures meeting at Caherlohan by Brian Troy.

Cooraclare’s proposal that the senior football championship format remain the same (three groups of 4) for 2025 was unanimously supported. It was proposed by P.J. McGuane.

A motion from Wolfe Tones, proposed by Dermot O’Donnell, calling for the under 21 championships to be played in April, May and June on midweek evenings was lost having failed to get a seconder.

Several delegates spoke against the motion citing the unavailability of players due to exams, inter county commitments and involvement with adult club teams.

St Josephs Miltown’s motion asking to have the top three divisions in the football leagues reformated from three groups of eight to two groups of twelve wasn’t moved.

Delegates vote against U-19 competition:

Clonlara sought the introduction of an under 19 competition to be played in February but after a lively debate they withdrew the proposal as a number of delegates cited difficulties with running the competition.

Putting forward the proposal, Flan Mullane said such a competition would bridge the gap to adult and under 21. He added that his club accepted that players involved with county teams and colleges may not be available.

Neil O’Brien. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Coaching officer Neil O’Brien told the gathering that the Bord na nÓg had plans for an U18 league but it would not be possible to run that competition if the under 19 was going ahead.

Bord na nÓg hurling chairman Stephen McNamara felt that a number of clubs with limited numbers would find it difficult to have a team for under 19 as they would be calling of some of the players for their adult teams.

The meeting agreed that there will be an under 18 league with an under 17 championship to follow.

Cratloe call for groups of 8 in under 21 championship:

Cratloe GAA chairman Kevin Browne proposed that the under 21 hurling championship be run in groups of eight at A, B and C levels with the establishing of an under 21 D competition where possible, also in a group of 8, this to contain “a small number of the weakest graded first teams and club’s second teams”.

Cratloe’s Kevin Browne. Photograph: Natasha Barton

He also proposed the establishment of a grading committee “to strictly grade or implement the eight team championships” He went on to propose that the eight team competitions be split into two groups of four with each team having one home, one away and one neutral venue group match with the top two in each group qualifying for the semi-finals.

Clare GAA Vice Chairman, Michael O’Connor praised Cratloe on the proposal but pointed out that “if a club wants to compete in a higher grade than what is suggested there is nothing to stop them”.

The motion was carried, proposed by Kevin Browne and seconded by Neil O’Brien

Underage competitions:

Four motions were submitted from Ruan, Cratloe, Wolfe Tones and Corofin asking that the under 15 hurling and football and under 13 hurling and football championships are not run concurrently in 2024. The meeting unanimously accepted this and were informed by the Bord na nÓg representatives that the under 15 football will be run first in 2024 with the under 15 hurling going first in 2025. The adoption of this motion was proposed by Rory Hickey, Éire Óg and seconded by Corofin’s Ambrose Heagney.

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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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