*Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CUSACK PARK’s capacity is to be inspected prior to the keenly awaited Munster SHC opening round tie between Clare and Limerick.

Currently, the capacity of Cusack Park is 18,800 and an inspection may boost this figure for the meeting of the All-Ireland champions against the newly crowned league winners in Ennis in two weeks time.

Hotel Woodstock hosted the April meeting of Clare GAA were congratulations were extended to the Clare senior hurlers and their management on winning the Allianz National Hurling League title on Saturday in Semple Stadium. The trophy was on display at the top table for the meeting.

Congratulating the team, Clare GAA Chairman Kieran Keating said “there was no time to celebrate but the players are happy to move on to the next challenge which is the championship”.

Conor Cleary accepts the Allianz NHL from GAA President Jarlath Burns. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

He went on to congratulate the under 20 hurlers the minor hurlers and footballers and the under 20 footballers on their recent victories in their respective championships.

“It would be marvellous if we could have a trophy on display at every meeting”, commented Munster Council delegate Bernard Keane when joining in the tribute to the senior hurlers. “This is marvellous for our supporters who are the best in the country. They are so loyal”.

Continuing the St. Josephs clubman complimented those involved in the pre match function to honour members of the 1977 and 1978 league winning teams. “It was a fantastic gesture and it was great to have the Association’s President there, a grassroots president who is still secretary of his own club. He paid a brilliant compliment to our long-time sponsor Pat O’Donnell”.

Keane went on to pay tribute to the senior footballers on their season to date. “To lose thirteen players from the last season, and to be in the mix for promotion is certainly encouraging. We are making progress and taking steps in the right direction”.

Supporting the Munster delegate’s view, chairman Keating appealed to supporters to travel to Fraher Field in Dungarva next weekend for Clare’s Munster semi-final date with Waterford. “There is a great prize for the winners.

He joined with Keane in complimenting all involved with Saturday’s function to honour the members of the league winning teams from the 70’s. “It was hurriedly arranged so credit to Deirdre (Murphy), Jean and Maedhbh”.

Ticket Allocation:

Responding to queries from a number of delegates, chairman Kieran Keating announced that the capacity of Cusack Park is 18,800 while the county’s allocation of tickets for the championship game v Limerick is 6,129. An inspection of the grounds is due which may increase the capacity marginally following recent work and this may lead to a small additional allocation of tickets.

On the subject of tickets, Cooraclare delegate P.J McGuane felt that tickets for under age inter county games (minor) should be given to the parents of the players “who have been driving their sons to training and games all over the place for the past two years”.

“We get 48 passes for these games and we pass them on”, Head of Operations Deirdre Murphy told the meeting.

Scariff delegate Tom Crotty said, “I am a parent of a minor hurler and we got tickets”.

Tribute to PR committee:

During Monday’s board meeting public relations officer Anne Hayes paid tribute to the members of the outgoing PR committee. “They had the skills to do the job, they assisted with the production and delivery of the programmes and they sold the programmes. I don’t think they were appreciated for what they did,” she stated.

“I did mention them and they were thanked”, replied chairman Kieran Keating.

Anne Hayes. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

The PRO went on to ask the chairman “were they a sub-committee or a work group? Will the new committee be available on a Friday at 4.30p.m. to collect the programmes and then go on the road across the county to deliver them”.

“We will discuss that later in the year”, the chairman replied.

Head of Operations Deirdre Murphy said, “There isn’t a county within the province at least that can hold a candle to our programmes. The whole thrust of pushing on the PR and marketing committee is to bring in people whose expertise in a professional sense is to help us in the areas we need to develop such as the revenue we may generate through programmes, looking at how we approach online marketing, online, all the other aspects of marketing and PR”.

She added, “It was in no way to denigrate either the work you do or continue to do so well or the work of those who were on the former committee. The way with PR and with the treasury role in particular is teams of people we need and I referred to that in my convention address. that’s the context in which we are broadening this out. We can never assume that people will be willing to do what they have done previously. The approach we have taken is to further areas in the marketing and PR that we need to improve, not to do down anything you do with programmes of which we are very proud”.

Hayes replied, “All I am saying is thanks to the outgoing people for what they did because they were not appreciated. That is what I am saying”.

Isolated players:

A total of 930 ‘isolated players’ have been ratified in Clare this year, assistant secretary Deirdre Chaplin told this week’s board meeting when the latest group of players received sanction for 2024.

Kilmaley’s Niall Romer told the meeting that his club was not contacted when the club’s committee was considering the isolated player issue. “Ballyea’s delegate told convention that they were contacted on this issue. Why weren’t my club contacted,” he asked.

Scariff’s Tom Crotty told the meeting, “I was a member of that committee and Ballyea had a representative on the committee”.

Regradings and transfers were also ratified at this week’s meeting. The transfers ratified were David Foran from Cooraclare to Killimer; Stephen Howard from Smith O’Briens to Clonlara; Cormac Killea from Michael Cusacks to Banner and Ethan Cronin from Éire Óg to Banner.

League finances:

Niall Romer asked this week’s board meeting what financial return Clare got from winning the hurling league. “Does the county get a fixed sum”, the team’s kitman questioned.

Niall Romer. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

“Both teams get a bigger share”, replied chairman Kieran Keating while Head of Operations Deirdre Murphy said “it’s not a fixed figure and we can’t say how much until the final figure is notified to us”.

Safety and facilities committee:

The safety and facilities committee for Clare GAA for 2024 will comprise David Hoey, Ambrose Heagney, Deirdre Murphy, Conor Gilligan, Gerry Lynch, Michael Maher, Adrian O’Dwyer from Éire Óg and Adrian O’Flaherty from O’Callaghans Mills.

Following the ratification of this committee Kilmaley delegate Niall Romer asked “do ye not take nominations from the floor. What about Brian Torpey (Tulla) and David Solan (Whitegate) who were the main reason for change in the county. They should be brought back in”.

“I don’t know if they are interested. I met David Solon in Whitegte last evening and he didn’t ask to be involved in any committee. I haven’t met Brian Torpey in over a year”, replied chairman Kieran Keating.

Responding to a query from Kildysart delegate John Meade, the chairman said that the make-up of the new demographic committee has not yet been finalised.

He also said that no appointment had yet been finalised for the new part time position of fixtures administrator. These appointments will be discussed at the next meeting of the management committee, the chairman replied.

Championship Draws:

The draws for the senior, intermediate and junior A championships will be made in May, chairman Kieran Keating told the meeting “We will leave the junior B draws until later in the season so that clubs can confirm if they will be competing in these grades”.

The May board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday May 14 and the draws will be made separate from the board meeting.

Fixture issues:

The scheduling of adult fixtures for Friday and Monday evenings is leaving the Bord na nÓgs with less time to play their fixtures, Coiste na nÓg football secretary Anne Hayes told this week’s meeting.

“It leaves the Bord na nOgs with three days for games and remember we are drawing from the same pool of referees,” she cautioned.

“It’s a great problem to have in some ways”, according to Board chairman Kieran Keating. “Some clubs have three and four adult teams. We are not planning on having 100 games on a Monday”.

Scór:

Twenty five clubs took part in senior Scór in Clare recently, Irish officer Joe Garry told this week’s board meeting. “Eighteen competed in the quiz and congratulations to the winners Éire Óg who will represent the county in Munster. Congratulations also to Clonbony (music), Meelick/Parteen (ballad group), Kilmurry Ibrickane (set dancing) and Cooraclare (novelty act).

The Irish officer went on to ask clubs to support the upcoming Scór na bPáistí competitions.

Finance:

Chairman Kieran Keating apologised for the absence of treasurer Brian Fitzpatrick and told the delegates that “there will be a six month financial report at the May meeting”.

Noting that this was the second meeting the treasurer had been unavailable for, Ruan’s Michael O’Regan said “surely the assistant treasurer could have been briefed to give us a report”.

“There is nothing that can be reported on with great clarity. At this time of year its mainly outgoings. The bookkeeper is just putting things together and there will be a full report for the first six months of the year at the May meeting whether the treasurer is here or not”, the chairman said.

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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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