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‘Sparrow’ heads to Kilmallock

HAVING spent the past year coaching Cork side Newtownshandrum, Ger ‘Sparrow’ 0’Loughlin is on the move once more, this time to take charge of the Kilmallock senior hurlers. The former Clare manager replaces another former Banner boss, Tony Considine at the helm in Kilmallock. During his tenure with The Balbec, Considine guided them to two senior county titles. Considine vacated the Kilmallock hot seat this year after four years in charge and his services were quickly snapped up. For 2014 he will manage Galway club side Turloughmore. Clarecastle clubman O’Loughlin is no stranger to the club scene in Limerick, having worked with Adare previously. He won a hat-trick of titles from 2007 to 2009 with Adare and also brought them to the 2012 county decider, a final they lost to Kilmallock.

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Delooze aims to have Clare fit and ready for 2014

GROWING up in Sydney, Chris Delooze could not have envisaged that come 2014, he would be responsible for the physical conditioning of the Clare senior footballers. Gaelic football didn’t register on his radar in those years. Ironically, even rugby was only an after-thought at that stage, as Delooze concentrated on swimming, winning two national medals in open water events. One would almost need to sit down on hearing details of his training schedule as a young man. “At that stage of my life, I was training 16 times a week. I was swimming every morning and had three track sessions in the middle of the day. Then I had training most afternoons and on a Saturday and race sometimes on a Sunday. That was through the summer. Rugby was a hobby during the winter just to keep fit,” Delooze told The Clare Champion this week. A change of school edged him towards rugby, which ended up having a profound affect …

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Death of Clare GAA President

By Seamus Hayes;   The death took place at the weekend of one of Clare’s best known GAA personalities, Henry Neylon from the Michael Cusacks club. At the time of his death, Hendy, as he was affectionately known, held the post of president of Clare GAA In July of 2012, I spoke with Henry as he celebrated his 90th birthday and a week before his beloved Ml. Cusacks club held a functon to mark the 50th anniversary of the North Clare club. A week earlier the club’s junior team had captured the Clare division 4 football league title. Henry spoke passionately about his beloved club and about a lifetime of involvement in the GAA. He played for Carron in 1944 when they won the junior novice title, beating Moveen in the final. Two years later the club was known as BellHarbour and he was a member of the team which beat Caherea in the junior championship in Miltown. “We had …

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Westmeath’s second half goals too much for Clare

By Seamus Hayes Westmeath 3-9 Clare 2-8 While Clare’s under 21 footballers showed improved form from their first round loss to Roscommon a week earlier, defeat was still their lot when they hosted Westmeath at Miltown on Saturday in round 2 of the Hastings cup under 21 football competition. The Banner side will complete their programme in this competition on Friday next when they will play Kildare under lights at St. Patricks GAA grounds in Limerick city. Clare got off to a dream start on Saturday when Jamie Malone goaled in the second minute but they failed to build on this and the visitors hit back with five unanswered points to lead by two at the end of the first quarter. A point each from midfielders Ciaran Devitt and Conor Cleary levelled the game and the teams went on to exchange points with Martin O’Leary’s effort for the home side  leaving the half time score at 1-3 to 0-6. In the …

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Players emigrating off the GAA fields

CLARE GAA County Board chairman, Michael McDonagh, believes the player haemorrhage from Clare is far worse than official records show. Fifty-six players departed the Banner County in 2013 and 45 transferred to clubs abroad in 2012, according to figures posted on the GAA website, meaning a total of 101 hurlers and footballers left the county over the past two years. However, the county board chair feels the level of emigration is much higher than the official figures suggest. “One of the worst hit clubs I’d say is Kilmihil. They have lost nearly a team themselves. In West Clare alone, I’d be surprised if it stopped at 100 because I think that there are an awful lot of people gone who haven’t transferred. My honest opinion is you’ve 100 who transferred but another 100 or 150 who have gone but haven’t transferred. They’re not bothering with hurling or football; they’re just gone. I’d say there’s probably between 200 and 300 players, if not more, …

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Lahinch Golf Club members rally for clean-up

LAHINCH Golf Club members this week rallied to the call for help with the course clean up following the weekend storms. “We put out a message to the members on Sunday to anyone with time to join in a big clean up.  Around 100 volunteers from the local community, Ennis, Limerick, Galway and Dublin turned up on Tuesday when over 550 black bags were filled with rubbish. Fifty more volunteers turned up on Wednesday, concentrating  on cleaning around the 4th and 7th championship tee boxes and the ladies 18th tee box.  For the second day running, the volume of rubbish collected was extraordinary and more skips are arriving in the morning to remove everything off site”, general manager Paddy Keane said. The Lahinch official confirmed, “Work on repairing the damage to greens, tees and fairways is continuing.” The boundary fencing was completely removed and work is underway to replace it. The championship course is due to open for play on …

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A night of celebration for Doora Barefield ladies

FOLLOWING a very successful year, the Old Ground Hotel, Ennis was the venue for the celebrations of the Doora Barefield Ladies Football Club last weekend Players, mentors, friends and families gathered amid a sea of maroon and white to recognise the great achievements, both on and off the pitch, for an outstanding group of players, who brought home silverware at U-12, U-14, U-16 and minor levels last year. Clare hurling legend and Doora Barefield clubman, Jamesie O’Connor, presented the medals to the girls, while Sean Lenihan, chairman of the ladies football club, acknowledged the combined contribution from players, mentors, committee and parents that resulted in a very successful 2013 season. The U-12 girls won both the East Clare Regional League Final and the Division 1 Championship. This was their third year in-a-row to win both and a special award was presented to four players, Aisling Reidy, Amy Lenihan, Chloe Towey and Niamh O’Keefe, who played on all three winning teams. …

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Mills parish celebrates sporting success

THE Inn at Dromoland was the venue last week for a gathering of 340 people from O’Callaghan’s Mills, to honour the sporting achievements of parishioners during 2013. Christy Philpott was the master of ceremonies and he met the main recipients, Colin Crehan and Ella Donnellan, who won handball world titles; Louise McCagh, the first Irish lady to win a Taekwando senior world title; Patrick Donnellan (captain) and Conor Cooney, both members of the Clare senior hurling team that won the All-Ireland title and Sean Hehir, winner of the Dublin City Marathon. Christy was assisted on stage by Davy Fitzgerald, Clare hurling manager and by Joe O’Gorman. Amongst the gathering was Sean Hehir’s coach, Dick Hooper, who represented Ireland in the marathon at three Olympic Games in 1980, 1984 and 1988. Also present were Arthur Forde, athletics coach from Ennis; Joe and Theresa Cooney, parents of Conor;  Patrick’s parents Stevie and Mary Donnellan and many others. As this was a night …

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