*Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
GAA clubs in Clare have criticised the amount of isolated players bypassing nearer clubs to join other teams.
An updated list of isolated players within the county was read aloud to delegates at the June meeting of the Clare County Board. As has become the norm, Ballyea, Kilmaley and Inagh/Kilnamona were securing the services of dozens of West Clare hurlers to play in the underage ranks. In football, Parteen’s Junior side have snapped up several hurlers from South-East Clare teams.
When delegates were given information on the amount of isolated players within Bord na nÓg Iomáint it drew criticism from clubs.
Tulla’s Brian Torpey questioned a previously passed motion that players had to travel to their nearest club. He flagged that players from Doonbeg, Cooraclare, O’Currys and Lissycasey were “going all over the place” instead of joining Kilkee/Bealaha who are trying to field teams.
“It is ridiculous if players are coming from Carrigaholt and they are not playing with Kilkee/Bealaha,” St Josephs Doora/Barefield representative, Pat Frawley commented.
County Board Chairman, Joe Cooney pointed out that Bord na nÓg secretary Pat Gavin noted many of the players had already lined out with the clubs they were now assigned to.
“A lot of these people were already gone before the committee was established,” Vice Chairman PJ McGuane stated. He outlined that there are challenges when mothers and fathers are from a place and want their children to play for their native club. “Isolation has gone out of hand, it is the league of nations in some places,” McGuane remarked.
Bord na nÓg Chairman, Neil O’Brien said that cases referenced by delegates involved players that already had featured for the club where they were listed as an isolated player. “At U12 they are going to Kilkee/Bealaha and not where they were previously,” the O’Callaghans Mills clubman said.