*Enthusiastic Clare supporters from Sixmilebridge. Photograph: Martin Connolly
Clare GAA’s new Chairman has indicated that progress for the organisation will be dictated by the availability of finances.
Newly elected chairman of Clare GAA, Jack Chaplin says “it is a great honour to have been elected to the position. I have got a great mandate from the clubs and I want to thank them sincerely. All clubs were very courteous and I regard my election as recognition of my club and my involvement in the club”
The Cratloe clubman was a 116 to 67 winner over outgoing vice chairman P.J. McGuane of Cooraclare.
Speaking to The Clare Echo on Wednesday morning he said, “I am only just barely in the door and I haven’t yet spoken to the other members of the executive to get an overall view. There is a big job to be done and I am there to carry out the wishes of the clubs. They have the say”.
Responding to a motion to set up an independent committee to examine Clare GAA structures, Chaplin stated, “There is a lot of merit in these proposals but it all comes back to the crunch word money. All these proposals require money and clubs are as strapped for money as the county board is. Last year was an awful year and it was very hard to do fundraising during the lockdown. Hopefully things will improve”
On the question of improvements at Caherlohan, he said “one of the main aims it to get it up to the required standard. The outgoing chairman said that there might be a bit of money coming through towards this project”.
The issue of appointing more coaches to Clare GAA as highlighted in recent weeks will also be dictated by finance, the club referee felt. “All of these proposals will come back to the crunch word, money”.
As a member of a dual-club, Jack acknowledged that the drawing up of a fixtures plan is “an issue every year”. He added, “There are more and more dual clubs, 90% of clubs have dual issues now. It’s a big headache with people looking for space between games”.
“All the issues needed to be highlighted and I will do my best and hopefully things will go well,” Chaplin concluded.