*Terence Fahy will continue as Clare U20 hurling manager. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

TERENCE FAHY AND DERMOT COUGHLAN have been reappointed to their roles as Clare U20 hurling and minor football managers, 16 applications have been received for the new HOO role within Clare GAA and outgoing secretary Pat Fitzgerald chose not to attend his final meeting in the post.

Sixteen applications for Clare H.O.O. post:

As of last Friday, sixteen applications for the position of HOO (Head of Operations) of Clare GAA had been received at Croke Park, Clare GAA chairman Kieran Keating told the July meeting at Caherlohan on Tuesday night.

Expressing the hope that the new post will be filled by September, the chairman said that “Croke Park will decide the process. They will have two, the County Board will have two and Munster Council will have one on the interview panel. The final decision will be with us as we are hiring here”.

Colm Browne (chairman of the masters fixtures committee) told the meeting that “it is more likely to be October before the position is filled. Interviews have to be carried out and whoever is offered the position will have to be given time to consider the offer. If they decide to accept they may then have to give notice to their current employer”.

He told the meeting that he “had hoped that Pat (Fitzgerald) would be here tonight but he didn’t want a fuss. He has given thirty two years service and I want to express the county committee’s thanks and appreciation to Pat for all his hard work”.

The chairman also informed the meeting that “Eve Watkins is also finishing up this week. She was always helpful and dutiful and she worked many hours longer than she was required to”. Eve had worked as an administrator at Clare GAA’s headquarters in Clareabbey. He confirmed that recently appointed Assistant Secretary of Clare GAA, Deirdre Chaplin will be acting secretary on a voluntary basis.

Tributes:

After asking if there would be an opportunity “to pay tribute to the secretary”, the chairman told Clondegad delegate Seamus O’Reilly to “go ahead”.

“There is a lot to cover and it would be remiss of us not to highlight his colossus contribution for almost five decades through Bord na nÓg, the hurling board and the County Board. He was at the centre of a golden age for Clare GAA during which 3 All-Ireland senior hurling, three Munster titles, All-Ireland and Munster under 21 titles, National league successes, minor All-Ireland success, senior B football, Munster senior football, the Tommy Murphy cup, division 3 and 4 football leagues were all won.

“Properties were purchased at Crusheen, Clareabbey and Caherlohan that will stand to us in the future. Maybe there were some mistakes that any one that never made a mistake made nothing. He did not seek the limelight. He spoke frankly. It’s sad that he is not here tonight. We let him down at times. It will be a major black mark is there is not some honour or recognition for Pat after fifty years. Ni beidh a leithéid ann arís”, O’Reilly told the meeting.

Pat Fitzgerald. Photograph: Natasha Barton

Clonlara delegate Flan Mullane told the meeting that “Pat came from Truagh in our parish and from a great family and I wish him nothing but health and happiness”. Tulla’s Brian Torpey said, “I wish him the very best. I got on very well with him. He has great respect for someone who speaks his mind”.

Sixmilebridge secretary Adrian Hogan also extended good wishes to the retiring secretary. “I thank him for his services to club and county. He gave his life to Clare GAA. I also express thanks to his wife Nuala”.

Re-appointed:

Two of Clare’s outgoing inter county managers have been re-appointed for 2023. Kilmurry-Ibrickane’s Dermot Coughlan will continue as the minor football manager for another year while Terence Fahy has been ratified for a further two years as under 20 hurling manager.

Dermot Coughlan. Photograph: Joe Buckley

Board chairman Kieran Keating told the delegates that he is confident Miltown’s Michael Neylon will continue for another year as under 20 football boss and he hopes to be in a position to have this ratified at the next meeting when he hopes to have an end of season report from minor hurling manager Brian O’Connell.

Proposed Junior B and C gradings:

Proposed gradings for the junior B and C hurling and football championships were were presented at the meeting ahead of the draws being made at next week’s meeting of the CCC.

Subject to confirmation the participants will be

Junior B hurling: Newmarket-on-Fergus, Meelick, Feakle, Sixmilebridge, Smith O’Briens, Whitegate, Clonlara, Tulla, Corofin, Tubber, Ruan, Bodyke, Clooney/Quin, O’Callaghans Mills, Clarecastle, Inagh/Kilnamona, Broadford, Wolfe Tones, Kilmaley, Ballyea, Éire Óg

Junior C hurling Premier: Newmarket-on-Fergus, Sixmilebridge, Scariff, Tulla, Kilmaley, St. Josephs Doora/Barefield, Clooney/Quin, Smith O’Briens. The CCC are to consider applications from Cratloe and Wolfe Tones to be allowed compete in this competition.

Junior C hurling: Clonbony, Kilkee/Beslahan, Banner, Ennistymon, Ogonnelloe, Killanena.

Junior B football Premier: Cooraclare, Wolfe Tones, Kilrush, Clondegad, Ennistymon, Corofin, Lissycasey, Kildysart, Éire Óg, St. Breckans. St Joseph’s Miltown and Michael Cusacks

Junior B football: Moy, Shannon Gaels, Clonbony, Corofin, St Senans Kilkee, Banner. Meelick informed the meeting that they won’t be taking part in football this year

League play off:

Ballyvaughan, Liscannor and Michael Cusacks finished level on points in the Division 4 football league with two to qualify for a meeting in the semi-final. Because there was a walkover, score difference could not be applied which resulted in a draw at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Ballyvaughan received a bye leaving Liscannor and Michael Cusacks to do battle on this Saturday evening with the winner of that game having home advantage against Ballyvaughan in the semi-final. Banner have already qualified for the final.

Tubber’s Andrew Monahan told the meeting that eleven members of the Michael Cusacks team play hurling with his club and they will be in championship action on Sunday week and again the following weekend. He told the meeting that they will not be agreeing to playing both the same weekend.

Borrowing:

Both Sixmilevbridge and Inagh/Kilnamona GAA clubs had requests before this week’s meeting seeking approval to be allowed make further borrowings to complete development projects.

In their letter, Sixmilebridge outlined that €845,000 had been spent to date on the development of their arena. They had taken out a loan of €250,000 and now needed to borrow a further €75,000 to complete the project.

Inagh-Kilnamona had a request before the meeting seeking to be allowed to borrow a further €50,000.

Both requests were supported.

Michael Curtin, a member of the Audit committee at Croke Park told the meeting that “all such applications should first come before the Audit committee to be vetted. All applications must be backed up with details of how the loans will be repaid”, he said before telling the delegates that 40% of applications are being sent back because of inadequate preparation.

Catering contract:

The Sherwood Inn will not be seeking a renewal of their catering contract with Clare GAA for next season. A letter to this effect from proprietor Michael Clancy was read to this week’s meeting.

Replying to Clondegad’s Seamus O’Reilly who asked if there was a reason for this, the chairman said “not that I am aware of”.

Under 19 hurling:

Tulla delegate Brian Torpey told Tuesday’s board meeting “Tulla wanted to compete in this season’s under 19 hurling championship. “We applied by e-mail but it wasn’t received. We also corresponded with regard to a very important Clare cup game and that went awry. We are anxious to play the under 19 game and we are prepared to play any back matches”.

Replying the board chairman said, “we have the final round of games in the B competition this week and clubs are anxious to finish the competition before the adult championships start”.

Ogonnelloe’s Pat Gavin told the meeting that his club (Scariff/Ogonnelloe) “were disappointed with the knock out format of the competition. They felt there was something for second placed teams”.

“Clubs looked for two games each which we provided. We didn’t have the time to play games including second placed teams”, according to the chairman.

Constitutional crisis:

“Do we realise we have a constitutional crisis”, Cooraclare’s P.J. McGuane asked the July meeting of Clare GAA.

What are clubs going to do now. If any club has a problem who do they ring? The crisis is one of our own making. We should have seen this coming”.

The chairman of the underage football board was speaking after it was confirmed that the county secretary Pat Fitzgerald and office administrator Eve Watkins will be leaving their positions this weekend.

“I have read your advert chairman and it’s a mile long”, according to McGuane who said that it will cost €200,000 per annum to get someone to do that work. What are the terms of responsibility for the volunteer”, the Cooraclare man asked.

Asking about the officer structure going forward Ruan’s John O’Sullivan was told by the chairman “the head of operations won’t be an officer but an employee. We will appoint a voluntary secretary”.

The chairman went on to say “We had a transition plan done expecting Pat (Fitzgerald) to remain to the end of his contract”.

O’Sullivan then enquired about the position and the appointment of an events manager, a safety and facility manager. “What about insurance as 45% of our clubs have no player insurance paid. We have a serious insurance problem and if something goes wrong, clubs will be taken to the cleaners. We are not properly constituted according to the rule book. The safety and welfare officer has to be a trained person and currently there are only two in the county”.

“Our own housekeeping needs to be addressed regarding insurance. We must make sure that the county board and the club officers are protected”, O’Currys delegate Michael Curtin told the meeting.

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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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