*Scariff’s Patrick Ryan is chased by Ian O’Brien and Gerry O’Grady. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARE GAA have ratified the majority of their committees for the coming year and the master fixtures plan for 2024 was approved at Tuesday’s County Board meeting.

Former Chairman of Clare GAA and ex football selector Noel Walsh will be remembered by Munster GAA with the renaming of the provincial U20 football competition in his name.

Masters Fixtures:

Presenting details of the masters fixtures schedule for 2024, chairman Colm Browne said “the plan is similar to last year. This year there is only one dual weekend which will be the June weekend. The senior football championship will begin on the weekend of July 20/21 with the hurling starting a week later. The county finals are scheduled for the first two weekends in October”.

He went on to say “clubs need to be mindful of their final league placings this year as these placings will determine where they will be next year”.

Colm Browne. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Competition regulations for the leagues were circulated to the clubs earlier in the week and the regulations for the championships will be issued before the championships start, he added.

Board chairman Kieran Keating said “we will try to facilitate Whitegate GAA’s plans to hold a tournament in memory of Michael Hynes on April 6th”.

President welcomed:

Newly elected president of Clare GAA, former Bishop of Killaloe, Willie Walsh
was formally welcomed to the February meeting of the board at Hotel Woodstock on Tuesday night.

The newly elected vice president of the board, Willie Boland was also welcomed to the meeting and both were presented with their office pins by chairman Kieran Keating.

“I am very happy to accept and I regard this as a very definite honour and privilege to be appointed as Uachtaráin Cumann Luithchleas Co an Chlair. I am quite chuffed to be appointed. I can’t help feeling that there are a lot more people who did a lot more than I did for Clare hurling. I think I did something over the years”, he told the gathering.

At the outset he recalled that he attended a board meeting in Autumn of 1992 “when Ger Loughnane and myself were stood down as selectors. We came back later but we were sacked on that occasion”.

Committees ratified:

A number of committees were ratified at the February meeting of Clare GAA at Tuesday’s February board meeting. They are

Masters Fixtures committee: Colm Browne, chairman (Banner), Padraig Boland (Broadford), Tom Duggan (St. Joseph’s Doora/Barefield), Martin Hehir (Clondegad), David O’Brien (St Joseph’s Miltown) and Tony O’Donnell (Crusheen)

Competitions Control committee (CCC); Kieran Keating (chairman), Deirdre Murphy (Head of Operations), Deirdre Chaplin (Assistant secretary), Seamus Hayes (Lissycasey) Eoin Brennan (Clarecastle), Michael Maher (Kilmaley), Gavin Moroney (Bodyke), Ann Marie Moran (Corofin), Rory McGann (Newmarket-on-Fergus), Tom Duggan (St. Joseph’s Doora/Barefield) and Seanie McMahon (referee’s administrator)

Hearings committee; Dan O’Connor (St. Joseph’s Doora/Barefield), chairman, Gerry O’Malley (Kilmaley), secretary; Concepta O’Connor (Newmarket-on-Fergus), John Morris (Wolfe Tones), Michael O’Regan (Ruan), David O’Connell (Shannon Gaels)

Coiste na nÓg hurling; Stephen McNamara (Kilmaley), chairman; Pat Gavin, Ogonnelloe) secretary; Padraig Moroney (Tulla), Gavin Moroney (Bodyke), Paul Gannon (Inagh/Kilnamona), Fergal O’Brien (Broadford), Jim Corbett (Sixmilebridge).

Coiste na nÓg football; P.J. McGuane (Cooraclare), chairman Anne Hayes (Lissycasey), secretary, Joe Talty (St Joseph’s Miltown), Marie Moloney (Shannon Gaels), Martin Frawley (Kildysart), Pat McMahon (Banner) with Joe Kelly (Cooraclare) added to their CCC committee.

Chairman Kieran Keating told the meeting that “there are a number of committees still to be decided and we will have them ratified at the March meeting”.

Following the announcement of the CCC committee Cooraclare’s P.J. McGuane said “there is an imbalance there as there is no football representative”.

The chairman replied that “there are two representatives from football clubs and five from dual clubs”.

McGuane replied “there is no one from west of Ennis” to which the chairman responded that he was. The committees, as proposed, were ratified by the meeting.

Transfers:

Nine transfers were ratified as follows: Noel McGuane from Kilmihil to St Joseph’s Miltown; Dara and Paddy Nagle from St. Joseph’s Doora/Barefield to Kilfenora; David Nihill from Éire Óg to Banner; AJ and Calum Finn from St. Joseph’s Doora/Barefield to Ruan; Liam Heffernan from Ruan to Wolfe Tones, Oscar O’Gorman from St. Joseph’s Doora/Barefield to Banner; Shane Lenihan from O’Callaghans Mills to Inagh/Kilnamona.

Corofin’s Ambrose Heagney enquired if the Nagle brothers would now be assisting Corofin hurlers as players from Kilfenora play their hurling with Corofin. “Is there not a ruling on that?”, he asked before adding that he will ‘check with Croke Park”.

The meeting also ratified re-gradings and isolated player applications, details of which had been circulated to clubs in the preceding days. Chairman Kieran Keating told the gathering that 285 isolated player applications had been dealt with to date.

Bereavements:

Cratloe delegate Jm Hickey thanked all who turned out for the funeral of Cratloe great Jackie O’Gorman. “He will not be forgotton”, Jim told the meeting.

Gabriel Keating (Naomh Eoin), extended sympathy to the board chairman and the Keating family on the passing of John Keating. “He was in the prime of his life and he had travelled the world. We were all shocked at his passing”.

P.J. McGuane proposed a vote of sympathy to the late Martin Hedderman who played football with Kilmihil and Kilrush and who gave a lot of time to promoting the game in the schools where he taught.

Sympathy was also extended to the family of the late Donal O’Grady, to the Brassil family Ballynacally, to the Corbett and Lonergan families in Sixmilebridge, the Murrihy and Talty families in Quilty, to well-known referee Martin Leahy on the death of his wife Lucy, the Liddane family Cratloe and the Garrihy family Shannon.

O’Gorman Cup:

Permission was granted to Doonbeg GAA to promote the annual O’Gorman cup competition which commemorates the late John O’Gorman who served in many capacities with Doonbeg GAA and who was also an officer with Clare GAA.

Loan approval:

The meeting gave approval to Doonbeg and Wolfe Tones to seek loan approval for upgrading facilities at their clubs.

Colm Dillon told the meeting that Doonbeg had plans for the construction of four new dressing rooms and aa meeting room and they had sought a sports capital grant.

John Riordan gave details of Wolfe Tones’ plans for draining work at their pitches in Shannon which will cost €162,000. He told the meeting that they will be seeking a GAA development loan.

Chairman Kieran Keating told the meeting that details of an application from St. Breckans will be before the March meeting.

GAA membership and player injury:

Head of operations with Clare GAA, Deirdre Murphy reminded all of the importance of players and mentors having membership paid by January 1, otherwise they do not have insurance cover. The March 31 deadline only covers members to have voting rights at AGM time.

PJ Fitzpatrick. Photograph: Joe Buckley

Sixmilebridge delegate P.J. Fitzpatrick said “I fail to see why something like this wasn’t notified to clubs before now. There should be some grace period”. “There is no way around this”, replied Deirdre Murphy.

“This has always been the case”, Cooraclare’s P.J. McGuane told the meeting. “We never allow any player of mentor to do anything unless they have their membership paid”.

Clondegad thank Brennan brothers:

Clondegad delegate Seamus O’Reilly thanked Gary and Shane Brennan on behalf of the club for their service to the club over the years. “Gary won’t be with us this year (he has transferred to Limerick club Ahane) and we thank him for his great service. We also thank his brother Shane who has retired.

Officer reports:

Child welfare officer Joan Crotty, informed the meeting that “any coaches working with underage teams must be Garda vetted and she went on to announce that the child safeguarding two course will take place on March 11.

Chairman Kieran Keating added “we will be coming down hard on clubs that don’t comply”.

Coaching and games officer Neil O’Brien announced that “there are 72 coaches and 423 players involved with development squads and the squads are almost finally selected. He added that there will be 50 summer camps involving 120 coaches.

Referee administrator Seanie McMahon told the delegates that there will be an information night next Monday (February 19) at the Temple Gate hotel.

Noel Walsh cup:

The winners of the Munster under 20 football championship will, from this season onwards, receive the Noel Walsh memorial cup, Munster Council delegate Bernard Keane told this week’s meeting. The cup will commemorate the Miltown Malbay native who gave so much time to the promotion of football. “This is a fitting honour”, Keane told the meeting

Handball matters:

Mike Kelly reported on recent championship action involving Clare handballers and he congratulated the winners of the various team leagues which had concluded in the past week. He extended congratulations to Diarmaid Nash and Colin Crehan who will be in All-Ireland senior doubles action this week.

All-Ireland final ticket prices:

Informing delegates that he will be attending his first Central Council meeting on Saturday week since his election as Clare delegate to that body, Robert Frost asked for the meeting’s views on a proposal to increase the All-Ireland final ticket prices from €90 to €100.

Chairman Kieran Keating said “I don’t have an issue with that but I don’t believe that the price of tickets for the corner sections should be the same”.

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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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