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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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Ladies board to appeal Browne decision

AN emergency meeting of the Clare Ladies Football County Board, held on Tuesday evening, unanimously backed the recently elected county board in their plans to appeal Munster Council’s Appeals Committee decision to uphold outgoing chairman, Davy Browne’s appeal to them. At the county convention in December, Bernie Regan comprehensively ousted Browne from the chairperson’s role. The Doonbeg man was also beaten in his efforts to be elected as county minor manager. He subsequently appealed the way in which the annual convention was technically conducted to a Munster Council Appeals Committee. They ruled in his favour last Friday but that does not mean the former chairman is automatically returned. “Munster Council are aware that until this process is finished, the existing board remains in position. From everyone’s point of view, Bernie Regan is the chairperson,” recently elected county board secretary, Paul McKenna, told The Clare Champion. This week’s emergency meeting was attended by 39 delegates. The meeting voted, 31 votes to …

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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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