*Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
“Clare camogie continues to progress and such progress is the result of the hard work and dedication of so many people”.
So said chairman Joe O’Donnell in his address to delegates attending this week’s annual convention at Hotel Woodstock.
He went on to thank “the members of the executive for their fantastic work, the members of the various sub committees who often undertake difficult tasks, the clubs and club officers for their co-operation and the delegates for their continued participation in the board’s deliberations”.
The chairman went on to say “the split season presented some difficult challenges for county teams and for our domestic fixtures. The fixtures committee did a great job organising the fixtures while at the same time having regard for the ladies football fixtures”.
The chairman acknowledged “the co-operation we enjoy with Clare ladies football and Clare GAA. We have been accomodated at Cusack Park with an increasing number of club and inter county games. There is widespread appreciation across the camogie clubs for this wonderful facility”.
Before concluding, the Cratloe man paid tribute to the various teams which brought success to the county in the year under review. “A wonderful year was brought to a fitting end earlier this evening when the All-Ireland premier junior champions were honoured with a civic reception by Clare County Council. Clare camogie is in a good place thanks to an awful lot of people”, he concluded
Clare camogie needs more referees, Fergal O’Brien told this week’s convention and he made a special appeal for more female referees. “There were 160 more games this year and we need more referees and they have to come from the clubs”, Fergal, who is a member of the board’s referees committee said.
Addressing this week’s camogie convention, trustee Seamus O’Sullivan was fullsome in his praise for all involved in Clare camogie.
“Look at where we have come from. We have progressed and grown stronger and established Clare as one of the strongest in the country which is reflected in the numbers registered. Your officer board work tirelessly on your behalf and the sub committees are trusted to do their job. There has been a phenomenal increase in the number of games in the past two years. The finances reflect your support, they are in a stable and strong position,” the St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield clubman stated.
He added, “Look at the press coverage which camogie receives. No other county can compare with the coverage we get in Clare and this is a tribute to the work of the PROs. It helps to attract more and better sponsorship. We are one of only five counties with our own field and this is getting better every single year”.
Tribute from GAA Chairman:
Clare GAA chairman Kieran Keating congratulated Clare camogie on the successes of the season when he addressed delegates to this week’s convention. He went on to call for support for Clare GAA’s ‘Win a House in Ennis draw. “We are into profit but we do need a push now. The funds raised will be used to develop an astro turf facility in Caherlohan”, he said.
Registrar Kevin Walsh told delegates that 2023 has been “an historical year for Clare camogie with membership numbers reaching 5051, a significant increase from 2022 and the highest since the inception of Clare camogie in 1934. This does not happen by accident. It involves a lot of good work and efficiency by the registrar in each club. They have done an excellent job in providing the timely registration of their players”.
Motions for congress:
Clare camogie will be forwarding two motions to congress after delegates supported proposals from Newmarket-on-Fergus camogie and from the Clare executive.
Newmarket-on-Fergus asked that “where competitions for under 18 (change from under 16) and other formats are concerned, clubs, county boards, provincial councils, national education councils may adapt the paying rules in relation to team compositions, substitutions, duration of match, pitch dimensions and the size, weight and material of the sliotar. Such adaptations must be approved as competition rules at a properly constituted general meeting of the relevant unit. In inclement weather all players aged 18 may wear matching track suit bottoms in addition to their uniform”.
The motion from the executive read “no player may approach within 20 metres (change from 10 metres) of a free taker until an attempt to strike the sliotar has been made and no players may physically or verbally distract a free taker. A player holding her hurley upright will not constitute an interference.
Fergal O’Brien and Kevin Walsh, both prominent referees, strongly supported this motion.
A proposal from the county executive preventing players from playing adult competition until they were over 16 (currently over 15’s are allowed to play) failed to receive the necessary support.
Broadford’s Fergal O’Brien led the opposition saying “as a single code club we would struggle with numbers if this is changed clubs can manage the load on players and player welfare must be managed by coaches.
Parteen/Meelick supported the Broadford official’s view.
The proposal for change came from Newmarket-on-Fergus’ Marie Louise Kaiser and it was seconded by the board’s development officer, Cormac Heffernan from Scariff/Ogonnelloe.
The motion which led to the biggest discussion at this week’s convention came from Kilkishen who wanted an amendment to bye-law 18 to include “Video footage to be automatically provided to the opposing team without due delay in a specified timeframe of three to five days”.
The club informed the board that they had an issue during the year and they requested a copy of the video to be told that they would get it at the end of the championship and later to be told that it had been deleted.
Outgoing board treasurer Martin Kaiser, the board’s data protection officer, advised against the change saying “the GDPR regulations are very clear. Video footage must be made available”, he said before suggesting that “we enforce the rules we have”.