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Defeating Gambling Demons

SCARIFF Harbour Festival is to be officially opened by Armagh football legend Oisín McConville over the August bank holiday weekend, in an interview with Carol Byrne he discusses his visit to the Banner county, growing up in Crossmaglen and conquering his gambling addiction. BORN in South Armagh in 1975, Oisín McConville grew up in a place and at a time where the sounds of gun fire and the tremors of bomb blasts were so commonplace they were almost part of the scenery. From the age of five he knew to walk briskly past the army barracks in Crossmaglen on his way to school and not to amble or dawdle in the presence of soldiers or police. As he reflects on his time growing up he says he is thankful that this is an experience his kids will never have. As Oisín prepares to come to the Scariff Harbour Festival, an event which bridges the divide between North and South, he …

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Leo O'Connor with Clare hurler David Reidy.

Win pair of tickets to Sunday’s game

Limerick native, Leo O’Connor, Clare Champion Business Development Manager and Clare hurler, David Reidy, who has just joined our advertising team with one of the last few pairs of tickets for Sunday’s match. Go to our facebook page before Friday for the chance to win the pair.    

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Seán Kelly leading out the cyclists at Ballyvaughan on Saturday.

Cycling with legend Seán Kelly in The Burren

John Galvin WHEN Peter O’Connell’s first action as the new editor of The Clare Champion was to send me to Ballyvaughan to cycle 60km early on a Saturday morning, I feared for our future professional relationship. I don’t do mornings, particularly on bank holiday weekends. There were extenuating circumstances, as this was no ordinary cycle. It was a cycle led off by none other than the legendary Seán Kelly. Suddenly, I was interested. My brothers and I grew up through the era of the twin cycling supernovas. Kelly and Stephen Roche divided the spoils between them seemingly at will through the ’80s. While Roche won the big one, the Tour de France and got to meet Charlie Haughey on the Champs Élysées, in our house, it was the quiet man from Carrick who was the big hero. Although he started with the reputation of just being a sprinter, he became a consummate all-rounder, able to lead a breakaway or power …

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Clare GAA fans facing higher prices and exclusion

CLARE GAA season ticket holders were excluded from the seated area at Cusack Park last Sunday for the Munster championship clash with Waterford. Also, supporters who bought tickets for the standing areas paid higher prices than what applies for the terraces at the three other Munster Championship venues; Cork, Limerick and Thurles. While the Munster Council originally justified this by saying that general admission would be on offer to all areas in Cusack Park, in actual fact the stand and terraces were segregated on the day. A Clare season ticket holder this week said that when she purchased her ticket last November, she had no idea that when championship came around, she would be denied a seat for Clare’s home games. “When you bought the tickets it said you may not get access to the stand. I assumed that meant that it could happen because all the seats were already taken up, and they couldn’t be reserved. I didn’t think …

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Clare coast to 12 point win over Limerick

Clare 1-23 Limerick 0-14 ON an evening when 13 Clare players contributed to their 12 point winning tally, they qualified for a June 3 Munster semi-final meeting with Kerry in Killarney. Another very impressive statistic is the fact that five Clare substitutes contributed 0-6 from play between them, with Conor Finuncane and Gavin Cooney putting over top class scores. When Kieran Malone goaled, at the second attempt, in the 18th minute, Clare were completely in control, leading 1-6 to 0-1. Limerick looked very poor during that spell but they upped their game for a period, outscoring Clare 0-9 to 0-3 between the goal and half-time. Clare still led by five points, 1-9 to 0-7, at the interval while Limerick kicked two early second half points, with Jamie Lee and Seán McSweeney scoring. It looked as if the game might turn into somewhat of a contest but Clare re-established control and went on a scoring spree. Apart from the substitutes hitting …

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Championship draws throws up some interesting pairings

THE Clare Senior Hurling Championship first round draws for 2018 have thrown up some mouthwatering contests. Champions Sixmilebridge will meet Clonlara in what will be a repeat of the final a few years ago. Cratloe will face Inagh-Kilnamona, while newly-promoted Kilmaley will face Newmarket. In football, the eight quarter-finalists from 2017 were seeded. Title-holders Kilmurry-Ibrickane will take on Kilfenora in the opening round. Clare senior football manager, Colm Collins, will manage his Cratloe side against his native parish Kilmihil, while former county midfielder, Ger Quinlan, will find himself on the sideline with Ennistymon against his native O’Curry’s. At the end of this season’s senior football campaign, five teams will be relegated to intermediate, with the intermediate winners being promoted. This will mean the 2019 championship will comprise 12 teams. The draws are as follows: Senior hurling: O’Callaghan’s Mills v St Joseph’s: Whitegate v Ballyea; Tulla v Éire Óg; Clarecastle v Crusheen; Wolfe Tones v Clooney-Quin; Cratloe v Inagh-Kilnamona; Newmarket v …

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The best is yet to come-Parker

“YOU guys should be proud of David Higgins,” comes the endorsement from Joseph Parker, as he praises the promoter with Clare links, who has been with him since he turned professional. Parker looks on the promoter almost as family nowadays. “It started off as promoter-boxer but now that I look at it, he’s like an older brother. The relationship is very strong , we’ve been working together for about five years and he’s made a big difference in terms of my life in boxing and in terms of helping me to achieve the goals I want to achieve. He took a chance in signing me up, not knowing if I was good or not. He’s put a lot of money behind me and into me over the years and now it’s paid off for us all.” When he spoke to The Champion, the WBO heavyweight champion was in Las Vegas, where his trainer Kevin Barry is based. Putting distance between …

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All on the line: David Higgins on making Parker-Joshua happen

MILLIONS of eyeballs will focus on a small rectangle in Cardiff on Saturday night, their owners anticipating a level of drama virtually never found away from live sport. Three of the four major world heavyweight titles are on the line, both fighters are undefeated, both are heroes in their own countries. A genuine sense of occasion and a hair-raising atmosphere will fill the Cardiff arena as the first bell rings and the leather begins to fly. While few here know it, a man with very strong ties to this county is among those who has done most to make the fight happen. Parker’s promoter, the 38-year old Auckland-based David Higgins, spent some of his teenage years in Clare and his mother hails from Newmarket-on-Fergus. Parker has been with Higgins’ company Duco Events since turning professional and one could almost say Higgins is the WBO champion’s creator, having sat down at a whiteboard some years ago and plotted how he might …

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