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The Rock of Cashel’s hurling legacy

THE U-21 grade, introduced in 1964, is one of the most attractive competitions in hurling. This championship has proved to be a solid bridge from minor to senior. The first two championships, in 1964 and 1965, were contested by Wexford and Tipperary, with honours even. Clare has consistently performed well, but had to wait until 2009 before Ciarán O’Doherty became the first Clare man to raise aloft the magnificent Cross of Cashel. Since then, the county has enjoyed unprecedented success, with Conor McGrath, Paul Flanagan and Tony Kelly, all leading Clare to victory. The Cross of Cashel shines a light on all 51 All-Ireland U-21 finals, conjuring up the great names who made this grade special. From a Clare perspective, there is a lot to be taken from this book, with Clare teams and captains photographed in colour. It also includes team-sheets, scoring records and there is a synopsis of each All-Ireland final since 1964. The foreword is by John …

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Clare Says Yes to Same Sex Marriage

CLARE voted  yes in Friday’s referendum on same sex marriage. When Returning Officer Pat Wallace announced the result in Ennis Courthouse shortly after 5.30pm on Saturday evening, it emerged that 58.3% of people in Clare voted yes. A total of 28,137 voters in the county backed the right to same sex marriage. The valid poll in Clare was 48,291. Amongst the places in Clare to vote yes in large numbers were Quin, Cratloe, Ennis, Sixmilebridge, Clarecastle and Shannon. Meanwhile Clare rejected the Age of Presidential Candidates referendum by a margin of 75.99% to 24.01%. The valid poll in this referendum was 48,615.    

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Munster hurling championship fact file

Key fact for Sunday’s big Munster senior hurling championship meeting o Clare and Limerick in Semple Stadium, Thurles. – Cork’s Colm Lyons will referee Sunday’s game, which throws-in at 4pm; – Clare defender David McInerney, from Tulla, captained UL to the Fitzgibbon Cup title this year, a team that Clare’s Brian Lohan managed; – Clare defender Jack Browne from Ballyea is a nephew of former Limerick great, Jimmy Carroll; – Limerick defender Wayne McNamara, from Adare, has strong Clare connections as his mother, Vera Killoughery, hails from Ballyea; – Limerick defender Seamus Hickey played hurling and football for St Flannan’s College; – Clare player Brendan Bugler is a member of the teaching staff at Doon CBS; – Banner county sharpshooter Colin Ryan helped coach Salesian College, Pallaskenry to Munster colleges success last year. Ballyea’s Brian Chambers was also a member of the Limerick school’s backroom team; – Former Clare player and county coach, Alan Cunningham, from Wolfe Tones, is currently …

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Banner are ‘raring to go’

THE recently concluded national hurling league didn’t go too well for Clare but, that said, they could have qualified for the knock-out stage of the competition. That’s all in the past now and all involved are just looking forward to what is ahead. A key member of team, John Conlon acknowledges there are “big expectations in Limerick” but added, “we have big expectations ourselves”. “We let ourselves down last year, which is a worry. We can’t dwell on the past. Yes we had a great win over Dublin. We lost narrowly to Kilkenny, a game we could have won and we don’t like moral victories. All we need now is to ensure we get over the line on Sunday,” the Clonlara man told The Clare Champion “We can’t afford to look past Limerick and that’s the way we have approached things this year, taking it a game at a time. Right now, we are looking at Limerick and looking at …

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Footballers face an obstinate obstacle

LEST any Clare supporter be unaware of the task facing the county footballers in Ennis on Saturday evening, consider that the last time the counties met in the Munster championship, Limerick won by four points, 1-13 to 1-9. That was in 2009 and while Clare did beat Limerick in the Munster semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds three years ago, Clare hadn’t beaten their neighbours since June 3, 1984 prior to 2009. This weekend’s game will be the 38th Munster championship meeting between the counties, with Clare winning 22 of those fixtures. Incredibly, Limerick won just a single championship game between the counties from 1909 to 1980, when they met 19 times. Five of their 37 Munster meetings have finished level. In the here and now, the current teams met on the last Sunday of March in round six of the NFL. Limerick had to win to have a chance of retaining their Division 3 status and they did just that. …

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Music, hurling and football

WHEN accepting the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 1995, after Clare had ended an 81-year wait for the All-Ireland senior title, Anthony Daly proclaimed that Clare people loved their traditional music, as well as their hurling. That passion will be clear for all to see this weekend, as the county supports its hurling and football teams and also find the time to attend the many events in the Fleadh Nua in Ennis. As the respective management teams finalise their plans for the Munster quarter-finals, there are injury concerns in both camps and a number of players face late fitness tests before a final decision is made. With Brendan Bugler (suspended), Colm Galvin (in the US) and Conor McGrath (injured) already ruled out, hurling followers are keeping their fingers crossed that Conor Ryan and Cian Dillon will be fit. Dillon has been out of action for the past number of weeks but did play for a period in a practice game at …

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Primary pupils taste ‘field of dreams’

Young hurlers and footballers from across Munster will get an early taste of their own “field of dreams’ as they line out in this year’s Munster GAA Primary Games. This weekend, the Shannon Airport sponsored initiative will see pupils of Clare and Limerick schools go head to head in both football and hurling at half time in championship games.The format in both codes is 11-a-side. The young footballers will be first into the fray at Cusack Park in Ennis on Saturday evening, as Clare play hosts to Limerick, in a home and away arrangement. On Sunday, Semple Stadium in Thurles will be the venue for the eagerly awaited Clare v Limerick Munster Hurling Championship first round game. Again at half-time, pupils from the respective counties will entertain what is expected to be a large crowd. The county jerseys that will be worn in the half-time in the Primary Games were unveiled as two key figures in Sundays hurling championship, John Conlon …

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Social housing crisis in Clare

A “phenomenal” gap exists between the number of people in need of social housing in Clare and the amount of available accommodation, it emerged this week. According to figures released at a meeting of Clare County Council on Monday, demand for social housing or housing supports outstrips supply by more than 100 to one in some parts of the county. The figures revealed by Clare County Council show that as of May 1 this year, there were 3,273 people in need of housing, with just 59 vacancies countywide. Last year, 65 properties were “addressed” by the local authority and if this level of activity continued, it would take more than 50 years to clear the current housing list. The council was keen to point out that a significant proportion of those on the list are “interested in housing supports, rather than offering standard local authority housing”. Ennis The detailed figures were revealed following a request by Councillor Ian Lynch. They …

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