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Clare camogie awards presented

By Seamus Hayes ALMOST 500 people attended Clare Camogie Board’s annual dinner on Friday night, where All-star wing back Chloe Morey from Sixmilebridge was the guest of honour and presented the awards. Clare chairman, Joe Robbins and president, Michael O’Halloran addressed the gathering at Treacy’s West County Hotel and paid tribute to all for their efforts. The identity of the volunteer of the year and lifetime achievement award winner for 2014 were revealed; Breda Daffy, Clooney-Quin and Bridie O’Looney, Newmarket being the recipients. Breda has been involved in the administrative side of her club since 2002, and currently holds the post of chairperson, having filled the posts of both secretary and registrar. Breda has instilled a love of camogie and club among all players over the last 10 years, which has brought the club from a position of having small numbers to winning the intermediate championship and contesting the senior county final. Bridie O’Looney has a rich background in camogie in Clare. …

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Football rule changes introduced

  THE 2014 inter-county Gaelic football season kicks off this weekend and players will have their first official outing where gum shields are compulsory. It also marks the introduction of a black card for cynical behaviour fouls, while the number of substitutes allowed per game has increased from five to six. Players guilty of cynical behaviour fouls (black card) will be ordered off. The first three ordered off on a black card infringement may be replaced but after that, a replacement will not be allowed. In the new disciplinary system, a player sent off on a red card, as before, cannot be replaced. A black card offence means a player sent off may be replaced. If more than three players earn a black card in the course of the game, no further replacement will be allowed. A yellow card earns a player a caution, while two yellow cards will result in a sending off with no replacement allowed. A combination of …

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Clare U-21s celebrate

MAGIC  moments in an incredible year for Clare hurling were recalled on Saturday night when the U-21s were feted at a function in the Auburn Lodge, Ennis. There was a tremendous atmosphere at the packed to capacity event, as  team members were presented with their Munster and All-Ireland medals Tributes were paid to the achievements of the up-and-coming stars of Clare hurling, among them Hurler of the Year, Tony Kelly, in retaining the provincial and All-Ireland [beating Antrim] titles. The contribution which many of them made to the senior All-Ireland winning side was also acknowledged. The efforts of the management and backroom squad in having the side prepared to such a high level of fitness and skills was praised. Hopes were also expressed that the U-21s, with an infusion of some additional players from minor level, could go on to defend their titles in 2014. The achievement of Davy Fitzgerald and his charges in bringing the Liam MacCarthy Cup back …

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RTE awards for Davy and Clare team

SINCE their memorable All-Ireland victory in September, members of the Clare senior hurling team and their management have received many awards. That list was extended on Saturday night when the RTE manager of the year and team of the year accolades were presented to Clare. At a function attended by many of the country’s leading sports personalities from the world of sport, the first award presented was the manager of the year trophy, which went to Davy Fitzgerald, who led Clare to win the Liam MacCarthy Cup in September. Davy was presented with his award by RTE head of sports, Ryle Nugent. A panel of sports writers and commentators choose Davy from a shortlist that included Dublin football manager, Jim Gavin; Tony Ward, the Galway camogie boss and Eamonn Ryan, the Cork ladies football manager. The team of the year was decided by public vote and the Clare hurlers were the popular winners. Team captain Pat Donnellan accepted the award from …

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Munster club GAA draws

By Seamus Hayes The 2014 Clare senior hurling championship will have to be completed by the third weekend in October at the latest as the winners will be in action in the provincial championship quarter-final on October 26. The county football champions won’t see provincial action until the middle of November as, for the second year in-a- row, Clare have received a bye to the semi-final. The draws for the provincial club championships (senior, intermediate and junior) were made at a meeting of the provincial council on Thursday night when the Waterford and Clare hurling champions were drawn to meet in a quarter- final on October 26. The Waterford representatives will have home advantage for that fixture, the winners of which will face the Tipperary winners in a semi-final tie on November 9. The final will take place on November 23. In intermediate hurling, the Clare champions have a bye into the provincial semi-final where they will play either Tipperary …

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Almost €914,000 spent on county teams

IN a year in which the county won two All-Ireland hurling titles, Clare still managed to record a profit of €59,289, according to the financial report that will be presented to delegates at next week’s annual convention, which takes place on Thursday, December 19. Income for the year amounted to €1,796,854, with expenditure coming to €1,737,565. Team expenses for the year amounted to €913,919 (€671,570 in 2012). This is an accumulative figure for all county teams and a breakdown for each team is not given. A breakdown of this figure shows that players’ travel expenses amounted to €324,365 (€267,842 in 2012); catering cost €199,541 (143,656 in 2012); medical physiotherapy and masseurs cost €99,835 (€86,353 last year); buses and overnights cost €61,001 (€53,255 in ’12); sportsgear, equipment and laundry cost €78,468 (€79,531 in ’12), while training facilities cost €23,197 (€20,856 last year). The team expenses figure includes provision for €100,000 for the senior hurlers’ holiday. There was a slight increase in …

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Invest in Caherlohan or Cusack Park?

CLARE GAA county secretary, Pat Fitzgerald favours completing the Caherlohan project, near Tulla, ahead of improvements at Cusack Park. In his report, which will be presented to the annual convention on Thurrsday night next, he says, “Personally speaking, I think we have to prioritise Caherlohan ahead of Cusack Park. That’s my opinion but ultimately it is you the clubs of Clare who will be the final arbitrators. He acknowledges the board will have to invest further in upgrading Cusack Park, particularly the playing surface. “After any prolonged period of rain, the surface badly deteriorates and this year, not for the first time, games had to be moved to alternative venues in order to avoid the embarrassment of the county grounds not being able to host games. This year’s county hurling final was played in a continuous downpour and on a pitch that cut up badly. So bad were conditions that Sixmilebridge supporters were banned from getting onto Cusack Park to …

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David Fitzgerald, Clare manager celebrates with Saoirse Bulfin following the All-Ireland senior hurling final replay against Cork at Croke Park. Photograph by John Kelly.

Davy’s appointment based on coaching pedigree

  IN a detailed report to next week’s Clare GAA convention, Clare secretary Pat Fitzgerald had nailed on the head the notion that nepotism came into play when his son Davy was appointed as Clare manager in 2011, writes Seamus Hayes. “I have to admit I was taken aback by the degree of cynicism to the appointment of Davy to the Clare job initially. Opinion was clearly divided and he had to work hard to win the cynics over”, Fitzgerald says in his report which is being circulated to clubs this weekend. “I came in for a share of criticism myself, being accused of nepotism, matching the cronyism that has dogged the Irish political system over the years. But such an assertion couldn’t have been further from the truth. Davy’s appointment was based on his coaching pedigree not on family loyalties. I was subjected to a lot of stick, but I stuck to my guns and I think as events …

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