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McDonagh’s warning on social media

A strong warning on the responsible use of social media was delivered by outgoing Clare GAA County Board chairman, Michael McDonagh, at Wednesday night’s convention. He welcomed the use of social media “if it is done in an honest and straightforward way, with no personal attacks”. “I fear, at some stage, it will go too far and people will not be able to take the pressure. I hope my words never come true, as everyone should know what could happen when somebody is under pressure,” he told delegates at the Auburn Lodge in Ennis. “All county team managers should deliver a year-end report to the officers of the county board who, in turn, will deliver that report to the county committee for discussion,” McDonagh continued. Welcoming all as chairman for the last time, he noted, “I have spoken to many people and asked them about the way forward for Clare GAA and Clare County Board. Everyone’s opinion differed but the …

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Newmarket Celtic all set for Munster final

The County Grounds in Doora is expected to attract one of its biggest attendances to date on Sunday when Clare champions, Newmarket Celtic, entertain Janesboro from Limerick in the final of the Munster Champions Cup. The game will kick off at 2pm, with Michael Rock in charge, assisted by Trevor White and Terry Kennedy. Janesboro are one of the strongest junior clubs in the region and are the favourites to win the title. It’s been a great season to date for Newmarket Celtic, who are also still in the running for the Munster Junior Cup and FAI Junior Cup titles. Janesboro, one of the oldest clubs in the Limerick league, will travel to Ennis with an experienced squad that includes the Clarke brothers, team captain Shane and Thomas, Shane Waters, John Boyle, Craig McMarlow and Stephen Walsh. For Newmarket, central defenders Mark Donlon and Paddy Purcell are very experienced and they have been in outstanding form all season. Stephen Kelly …

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Newmarket Celtic go marching on

Newmarket Celtic 2 Avondale, Cork 1 Newmarket Celtic’s tremendous season was taken a step further this Sunday afternoon when they booked a place in the sixth round of the FAI junior cup with a fully merited win over a highly fancied Avondale United from Cork. With a Munster champions cup final next Sunday against crack Limerick side, Janesboro, the FAI victory is a tremendous boost as they chase Munster honours. The Clare champions took the lead after just ten minutes when Dave McCarthy fired home the lead score following a Darren Cullinan cross. On an excellent pitch despite the atrocious weather conditions in the lead up to the game, they dominated the opening half hour and would not have been flattered if they had added to the opening goal. As the half wore on the visitors came much more into the game and they levelled the tie five minutes from the half time whistle when full back Ronan Devine beat Niall …

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Coolmeen: A small parish with a big heart

LOCAL historian and Coolmeen GAA club activist Paul Markham estimates that the current parish population is 650, in what is a 225-house community. He says that in the region of 30 people from the community, in the 20 to 30-year-old age bracket, have had to emigrate in search of work. While there are plenty of young players on the panel, the two schools in the parish have a combined pupil population of just 32. There are two teachers in Cranny National School, which has 21 pupils, while one-teacher Coolmeen National School has 11 pupils. This reflects the challenge that many rural schools in West Clare face, as populations continue to decline in the region. There is no post office and no shop in the 24-townland parish, which has two pubs. “Since the 1960s all three post offices in Shanahea, Cranny and Coolmeen have closed. The creamery at Cranny has been demolished. Public houses like Moloney’s in Coolmeen and McMahon’s in …

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Coolmeen face their biggest hour

THE entire parish of Coolmeen will decamp to Mallow on Sunday. This mass migration of householders from the 24 Cranny/Coolmeen townlands will be an albeit temporary arrangement but one that has become part of the fabric of the club’s glory-laden season. After their post-match warm-down in Cooraclare two weeks ago, having beaten Modeligo in the Munster semi-final, the Coolmeen players were met with a standing ovation from their community, who had stayed on to let them know how highly they rated their men. Coolmeen will need that support on Sunday because in Templenoe they will play the best team they have ever met. That’s not to suggest that the Kerry champions are unbeatable but they will be very warm favourites.In their Munster semi-final, they beat Bandon 0-16 to 1-10 in Clonakilty and a feature of that game was that five of the Cork club’s forwards did not score from play. Team captain Tadhg Morley excelled that day, while Kieran O’Neill …

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Cusack Park plans meet heritage crux

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has given a red card to Clare GAA’s latest plans to redevelop Cusack Park. The department has lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála to proposals by the Clare GAA County Board to carry out works immediately adjacent to Ennis Friary. The appeal raises architectural heritage and archaeological concerns stating, “The design of the development does not satisfy the sensitivities associated with development adjacent to a national monument”. The Cusack Park plans, phase two of a major redevelopment of the county grounds, include the demolition of ruined buildings and part of an orchard wall and the construction of a new car park within the ‘Cloister site’. Also included in the plans is the demolition of a section of the western boundary wall of Cusack Park and a construction of a new 2.8m high boundary wall with turnstile housing, ticket kiosk and exit gates; the construction of a new toilet block and concession …

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Wolfe Tones are crowned Munster champions

Wolfe Tones 1-18 Newcestown, Cork 2-13 Wolfe Tones were crowned Munster intermediate hurling champions at Mallow this Saturday afternoon where they were deserving winners over their Cork counterparts, Newcestown. A brace of injury time goals from the Cork champions made for a nervous finish for the Clare outfit but there is no denying the merit of their victory. They started a little nervously and found themselves 0-3 to 0-1 behind after six minutes but from here to the half time whistle they dictated matters. Seven unanswered points saw them take a four point advantage as the game went into the second quarter before Newcestown ended a twelve minute spell without a score with a point from defender Michael McSweeney. Nine minutes from the half time whistle the Shannon club struck a vital blow. A superb break by the outstanding Aron Shanagher saw the eighteen year old pick out Gary O’Connell with his cross and the centre forward found the net. …

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Dublin honour for Willie Keane

WELL-known local and international athlete, Willie Keane, Kilkee has been selected by the Clare Association in Dublin as its Clare Person of the Year 2016. He will be presented with his award at the association’s annual dinner dance in Dublin on January 23. Willie was to the forefront of Irish athletics for many years and between 1969 and 1980, he won numerous medals in track and field, cross country and on the road. During that time, he accumulated 56 All-Ireland medals. He also distinguished himself at international level and was always proud to wear the Irish singlet when representing the NACA at international events. As well as promoting athletics among the youth of West Clare as a member of St John’s Athletic Club, Willie is also a great GAA supporter and is president of the local St Senan’s GAA Club. Clare County Council recognised Willie’s achievements with a civic reception in 2001 and he was also inducted into the Hall …

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