*Scariff were crowned 2020 Clare IHC champions and are looking to field a third adult team in 2021. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
Seven GAA clubs in Clare have expressed an interest in fielding an additional adult team for 2021.
Scariff, Crusheen, St Breckans, Clondegad, Ennistymon, Lissycasey and Ogonnelloe have written to the Clare County Board seeking permission to increase their amount of adult teams for the coming year.
County secretary, Pat Fitzgerald informed the February meeting of the Board that the requests would be referred to the CCC as the matter requires mass re-grading of several players attached to the clubs. An update will be issued at the March meeting of the Board.
He also advised the meeting that Doonbeg plan to run the O’Gorman Cup again this year and that Ennistymon asked for permission to “land or lands” adjacent to their club grounds it becomes available. Kildysart are looking to borrow €100k from Community Finance Ireland to carry out improvements to their pitch and drainage, the meeting was told.
Ex Clare U21 hurler Alphie Rodgers is included in the list of over twenty individuals put in for re-grading to allow Scariff to have a third team. Crusheen GAA are “investigating the possibility of entering a Junior C team for 2021,” Fitzgerald stated to add to their Senior A and Junior A sides.
Following St Breckans’ promotion to the Junior A football championship, they are now keen to introduce a Junior B side which includes two ex players that have returned to the parish in recent times. It will be the first time the North Clare club has submitted a third adult team.
An interest in competing in the Junior B football championship has also been voiced by Clondegad, their correspondence stated that many of the persons linked to the team are self-employed and also includes fifty one year old Flan Enright. Ennistymon GAA have also contacted the County Board looking for a green-light to add a third adult football team.
After making “the tough decision to only proceed with one adult for the foreseeable future simply due to lack of numbers” in 2018, Ogonnelloe GAA credited remote working for creating a situation where they can line out a second team. They sought thirteen players to be re-graded with special status including Paschal Sheedy.
Adding a third team was described as “critical” for Lissycasey who detailed that they have more than fifty players eligible to play at Junior A. “We do not want to lose these players regardless of ability,” their correspondence pleading for a Junior B side outlined. Speaking at the meeting, Paudie Carmody said the situation was accelerated by an amount of players that were no longer eligible for U17, “we hope to have a third team for next ten years or so”.
Clarecastle delegate Neville O’Halloran remarked, “It seems you can put in a letter and get as many as you want regraded”. Ordinarily clubs are only allowed propose five players be regraded to a lower team each year. “We have always operated on the principle of a special case to be put to the Board if an extra team is being entered,” Fitzgerald responded.
An appetite for clubs to have more teams was applauded by Munster Council delegate, Bernard Keane. “The number of clubs looking to put in extra teams is very encouraging, we should take pride in that”.