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U21 championship delayed with Clare Cup start deferred

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*Adam Breen races away from Sean Withycombe. Photograph: John Mangan

GAA competitions in Clare will not be proceeding until the end of March at the earliest. 

A directive was issued from Croke Park which introduced a blanket ban on all forms of GAA activities on Thursday afternoon. The proposed March 21st/22nd start of the Clare Cup (hurling league) has now been put on hold while games in the U21 hurling championship are left in limbo. Action commenced in the Cusack Cup, Garry Cup and lower divisions at the weekend but the second round will not be held for multiple weeks.

Clare’s scheduled Allianz National Hurling League semi-final is also to be deferred. Refixed dates for all competitions are expected to be put together during the period of the ban. Clare GAA had already called off their March meeting with Club Clare opting to cancel their fundraiser scheduled for this Saturday night for health and safety concerns.

At a meeting on Tuesday evening in Clareabbey, clubs discussed the potential implications the coronavirus would have on the U21 hurling championship which began last week. Already two contests in the B competition were postponed as a result of the virus.

Held behind closed doors, The Clare Echo understands that the general consensus among clubs at the meeting was to keep going with the championship. A representative from Sixmilebridge is said to have told the meeting that if the coronavirus delays the championship, they would be requesting that the involvement of some of their panellists with Bridge Utd’s Youths team be accommodated by having no games on at the same time.

Ties involving Crusheen/Tubber, Corofin/Ruan, Inagh/Kilnamona and Bodyke were postponed last weekend. Families connected to some panellists from these clubs are currently in self-isolation.

Midweek games are on the cards to assist with the scheduling of the U21 championship. Concern was outlined that delaying the games would run into college exams and panellists travelling to America on J1 visas with others in attendance highlighting that teams have been preparing since November.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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