APPLICATIONS by close to 300 isolated players formed a large part of discussions at the latest Clare County GAA Board meeting.
At the outset of the meeting at Hotel Woodstock in Ennis, secretary Pat Fitzgerald read the applications from adult players. Joe Pender, on behalf of the underage hurling board, and Joe Kelly, on behalf of the underage football board, followed with two further lists of applications. Some adult applications had been dealt with at the February board meeting.
After the lists had been presented, Tulla GAA Club delegate Brian Torpey observed that “one club has received assistance from 54 players”.
“We don’t want to stop anyone from playing but for those of us that are landlocked [no exclusive football club adjacent], it’s hard. Some stipulations must be introduced. Maybe when a club passes a certain number of isolated players, they must play in A grade competitions,” he suggested.
Supporting Torpey, Feakle delegate Mike Daly said, “If we could only get two or three, it would help keep us going. We are really suffering at the moment and the new structure that was introduced has ruled us out.”
Going on to make a suggestion as to how clubs like Tulla and Feakle could benefit, Daly gave an example.
“Eoghan Donnellan, who plays with Ballyea, has a Feakle connection in that his father is from Feakle. Maybe in such situations, players could assist the club from which their parents came,” Daly said when stressing that this is just an example. “I know it’s not going to happen.”
O’Callaghan’s Mills delegate Noel O’Driscoll told the meeting, “It’s up to the county board to regularise people who transfer and do not reside in the parishes they transferred to”.
Replying to this, chairman Joe Cooney said, “That’s a different issue. We are dealing with isolated player applications here.”
Fitzgerald said, “Specific guidelines must be drawn up and I would ask those involved to bring forward proposals”.
By sports editor Seamus Hayes