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*Brendan Wall. Photograph: Joe Buckley

Shannon’s Brendan Wall has been elected as the new Chairman of the Clare Schoolboys/Schoolgirls Soccer League (CSSL) while a provisional return date for action has been set.

A planned start of the season in June came asunder when six of the seven members of the CSSL committee resigned from their posts. This followed a heated online AGM in April that the media were not invited to and a subsequent letter from Ennis Town delegate Tony Downey in which he committed to continue asking difficult questions of the CSSL.

An attempt by the SFAI to put an interim committee in place fell through when it emerged that not all members selected were Garda vetted.

Efforts to coax back former Secretary Caroline O’Brien and Fixtures Secretary Conor Twomey both of Shannon Town Utd AFC to their respective positions were unsuccessful.

At an online EGM on Sunday, Brendan Wall of Shannon Hibs was elected as the new Chairperson of the CSSL. Sporting Ennistymon’s Eddie Crowe takes on the role of Secretary with Cathal Jones of Bunratty/Cratloe elected Treasurer ahead of Downey and Clive Slater the new Registrar.

Bridge Utd’s Barry Downes is joined by Tony Downey, John O’Malley of Avenue Utd, St Pats AFC’s Pat Daly and Pa O’Halloran of Bunratty/Cratloe on the committee. Notably, it is the first time in recent years that no representative of Lifford FC is part of the committee in any shape. There was no Vice Chairman or Fixtures Secretary elected.

Avenue Utd’s Tommy Molloy who was the only member of seven person CSSL committee not to resign from their posts subsequent to the AGM is no longer part of the committee.

Monday July 5th is the provisional start date of the new season, Wall confirmed to The Clare Echo. It will be his second stint in the Chair. “We have been through an eventful number of weeks and are looking forward now to getting back to the pitch to play football”.

He paid tribute to the outgoing committee for getting through last season in the midst of the pandemic and noted that their assistance will be “critical” to allow the newly elected officers bed into their roles. “The clubs were unanimous in their wish to have all of the outgoing committee continue in their roles and while this was not possible, I would like to take the opportunity on behalf of the league to thank them for their continuing contribution to Clare soccer”.

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