The first meeting of Clare GAA in 2021 will be held virtually this Friday night with motions carried over from December’s Convention expected to be discussed.
Among them is a motion from Eire Óg, with the Ennis club calling for Clare GAA to “establish an independent committee to develop a five year strategic plan”. It detailed that the committee should consist of five people who are independent of the county board, and drawn from business and commercial interests with a strong record of commitment and involvement in the GAA.
The key areas identified for the committee to focus on are finance and fundraising, optimisation of the Centre of Excellence at Caherlohan and other facilities, Coaching and Games Development, Governance, Public Relations along with marketing and social media. The motion was the brainchild of former Clare minor coach Niall O’Connor, who had also urged clubs to make their voices heard at this Friday night’s meeting.
A similar motion from Tulla GAA club is also set to be discussed with the the focus of that calling for an independent body to be established in order to oversee the structures of underage hurling in the county. The importance of a strength and conditioning coach was also highlighted with Clare GAA since employing Rob Mulcahy to work on this role. His work has already been received in a positive light, with Clare Games Development Officer Michéal Duffy and Peter Casey running hugely popular online classes for schoolchildren.
These motions are sure to cause plenty debate in light of reports in recent days that several high profile personnel had committed to being involved in four committees to be established by Clare GAA. A committee to look after the completion of Clare GAA’s Centre of Excellence in Caherlohan, which has already cost €4.8 million, a finance committee and groups to oversee the development of hurling and football in the county were all outlined last weekend.
Since then, it has emerged that the vast majority of people named in these reports had not given any firm commitment that they would be involved, with a number of them expressing their disappointment and anger at their names being linked to the roles without their knowledge. It is also understood that the leaking of the information from a meeting of the officers of Clare GAA was done without the knowledge of some senior members of the board, who stated that the information should not have been made public until the clubs had been consulted at this Friday evening’s meeting.
The process also led to intense speculation on some social media channels, and when contacted by The Clare Champion, chairman of Clare GAA and Cratloe clubman Jack Chaplin insisted that none of the information being circulated on those platforms held any truth. Separately, a spokesperson for the Eire Óg club stated they would be making no comment about the future of their motion until Friday evening’s meeting and urged clubs to focus on dealing with facts rather than online speculation.