*David Tubridy. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Former Clare footballers Ger Keane and David Tubridy are part of a four person committee along with board chairman Kieran Keating and Head of Operations Deirdre Murphy who are working on finding the next Clare senior football manager.

Responding to a question from Kildysart delegate John Meade at the August meeting of the board as to what stage the selection process was at, the chairman revealed the identity of the committee.

He told the meeting that “it would be unfair to go into detail at this stage as to who we have been talking to. The committee will be meeting tomorrow night (Wednesday) to discuss who is interested”.

“It’s been a few weeks and is that telling us there is an urgency”, Meade asked to which Keating replied “the process is progressing”.

“This is a massive appointment for Clare football. We are doing everything we can to make sure we get the best person for Clare football and to continue with the excellent job done by Colm (Collins). It’s a decision that has to be well made. It would not be helpful to get into detail in a public forum like this. It will be done in a fair and transparent manner,” Murphy told the meeting.

Deirdre Murphy. Photograph: Natasha Barton

Collins thanks all for ‘incredible support’

Outgoing county senior football manager Colm Collins’ end of year report was read to this Tuesday’s August board meeting by Head of Operations Deirdre Murphy in which the Cratloe resident thanked all “too numerous to mention, for the incredible support received”.

He gave an account of the team’s performances in the McGrath Cup, Allianz National Football League and championship saying “the results in the Monaghan and Derry games didn’t justify staying on any longer and the management committee decided to step down”.

Colm Collins. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Under 21 championships;

It is hoped to start the under 21 hurling championship on the weekend of October 14/15 when it is expected that the football championship finals will be taking place.

A week later the adult hurling finals are scheduled to be played and the opening rounds of the under 21 football championship are pencilled in for that weekend.

According to board chairman Kieran Keating it is hoped to have the under 21 competitions completed by the end of November. “There is a tight window for this championship and we have to be mindful of the Harty Cup and Corn Ui Mhuiri competitions and we may have to play midweek games and play both over the October Bank holiday weekend. The format will depend on how many teams will be taking part and we will need to grade the teams in the coming weeks. Clubs will be getting an e-mail tomorrow asking them to confirm what teams they have. We may not be able to give teams a second chance, we may have to look at having a shield competition for first round losers”.

Win A House:

It’s time for clubs to “get the finger out” in relation to the Win A House fundraiser, chairman Kieran Keating told this week’s county board meeting at Hotel Woodstock.

He said, “There are close on 2,000 tickets sold but clubs are very slow to make their returns. There are just over 100 tickets back from clubs and I am now calling on delegates here to go back to their clubs and get them moving on this. There are lots out there who don’t know about it”.

Kieran Keating. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Head of Operations Deirdre Murphy reminded all that clubs get a €20 or €30 return from each ticket sold.

Treasurer Brian Fitzpatrick told the meeting “we have huge needs for money to provide the proper infrastructure and there are benefits to clubs by promoting this”.

Confirming that the draw will take place “at the end of December”, the chairman said “we have to be mindful that clubs will be having fundraisers while Club Clare will also be collecting membership”.

Work underway at Caherlohan

Work has commenced on the upgrading of pitches at Caherlohan but “the weather hasn’t been kind and we need a good number of dry days together,” Deirdre Murphy advised the meeting.

Sixmilebridge delegate P.J Fitzpatrick sounded a note of warning when he told the meeting “we did our second pitch in bad weather and we had to redo it. There is no point in going ahead if the weather isn’t correct. It was a futile exercise”.

Fitzpatrick went on to enquire as to when the board’s astro turf pitch will be available to which chairman Kieran Keating replied “hopefully in the second half of 2024 but it depends on funding. We will be applying for sports capital funding and we have a chunk of funding with the Munster Council that we can use for this project”.

“Only one county in a province will get €500,000 from the sports capital fund. The guts of 2 to 2 and a half million is needed to do an astro turf properly”, Deirdre Murphy told the delegates.

“Clare GAA needs an awful lot of money and all involved need to realise that. The Win A House project is a starting point. We are going to have to get behind the people at the top table who are doing a great job,” commented Paddy Smyth who is the Planning and Training Officer with Clare GAA.

A big response:

There has been “a huge response” to the advertisement seeking a head groundsman for Clare GAA, Deirdre Murphy told this week’s board meeting. She went on to say that she is hopeful an appointment will be made before the end of October.

Responding to a query she said “there is no funding from Croke Park or Munster Council for this post”.

Ladies congratulated:

Chairman Kieran Keating extended congratulations to both the Clare ladies intermediate football team and the Clare junior camogie team on their performances over the past two weeks.

“The footballers were unlucky on Sunday while, a week earlier, the camogie team won and this will be great for camogie in the county,” he stated.

Clare ladies board and Clare camogie board benefitted to the tune of between €1,600 and €1,700 from Clare GAA as a result of sales of match programmes over two weekends in advance of the finals.

Reports:

End of season reports from Clare minor hurling manager Brian O’Connell and senior hurling manager Brian Lohan will be presented at the September board meeting as well as a report from under 20 football manager Michael Neylon. No details on their futures for the 2024 season were provided at the meeting.

The hurling review committee will present their report next month, Deirdre Murphy told this week’s meeting. “They have met four or five times to date and they are almost ready to go,” she confirmed.

Clubs failing in responsibility to provide officials:

Clubs have a responsibility to provide linsemen to assist referees; There are multiple matches each weekend and it’s hard for referees to get seven officials to help them at every match. Clubs are failing in that they are not providing referees. I commend the referees who are doing a fantastic job”, referee’s administrator Seanie McMahon told the meeting.

Clarecastle Astro:

Kieran Keating extended congratulations to Clarecastle GAA on the progress made to date by the club on the development of their astro turf playing facility. “It will be a huge addition to Clare GAA”, he said.

September All-Irelands:

Naomh Eoin delegate Gabriel Keating asked if there had been any discussion at any level on having the All-Ireland finals revert back to September. Cetral Council delegate Michael O’Neill said “there doesn’t seem to be any appetite to change back”.

Keys to Cusack Park:

Ruan’s Michel O’Regan asked who had keys to the main gates at Cusack Park when asking about the availability of medical people on match days. “Can we have details as to have keys to open gates so as to allow access for emergency traffic,” he asked.

Ambrose Heagney replied, “there are no gates locked. Myself, Deirdre Chaplin, Deirdre Murphy and Kieran Keating have keys”.

Munster Council Grants:

Munster Council will shortly be accepting application for grants from clubs across the province and Bernard Keane who is one of Clare’s delegates to the provincial body reminded clubs to “get applications ready. The principle is the same as last year”, he said

Scór:

Senior Scór will take place at the beginning of October, Irish officer Joe Garry told this week’s meeting when appealing to clubs to support the event.

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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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