THE decision as to whether the football and hurling Bord na nÓgs will be amalgamated is a decision for the clubs of the county, county board chairman Michael O’Neill told the convention.
“It’s not a case that the county executive wants to bring this about. There is a motion there and it has to be dealt with. It’s a decision for the clubs,” he said.
County secretary Pat Fitzgerald said it was his view that the motions before this week’s meeting should be dealt with.
Kilmurry-Ibrickane’s James Murrihy was of the opinion that a study should be done and the findings should then be presented to delegates before a decision is reached.
Mike Riordan from Wolfe Tones said his club did not see a difficulty with the two boards as at present. “I can’t imagine how one secretary would manage. Is there something else in the offing that we don’t know about?” he asked.
VERBAL abuse is still very much part and parcel of what goes on in underage clubs, chairman Billy Archbold claimed. He said there was a serious lack of communication between club officers and the people who act as mentors of their teams.
“Some of the club officials were not aware of what we had to deal with during the year. Verbal abuse is still very much part and parcel of what goes on. Mentors take a grip on things and some officers are not aware of what is going on.”
The St Breckan’s clubman acknowledged that emigration is a problem for clubs, who are losing adult players at this time.
The chairman went on to congratulate the Clare minor hurlers on winning the Munster title and West Clare Gaels on winning the All-Ireland Ladies’ Intermediate Club title.
He paid special tribute to vice-chairman, Joe Kelly; secretary, Anne Hayes and PRO, Liam Woulfe, all of whom had completed their terms in office.
TREASURER Joey O’Connell, who signalled that he would not be seeking re-election should the board be retained, reported a profit of €€7,627 on the year’s transactions.
Income for the year amounted to €€16,340, of which €€13,090 came from gate receipts. Expenditure for the year amounted to €8,713.00 and the board currently had a balance of €€23,247.90
Referring to the decision to discontinue with competition at U-12 level, the treasurer pointed out that the U-12 championship finals had netted the board €3,015 in income during the year under review. He also noted the difficulty in securing sponsorship in the current economic climate and he thanked the sponsors, who had supported the board during the past year.
PUBLIC relations officer Liam Woulfe said the increase in influence of group teams appears to signal the future for many smaller clubs, with the combinations of Liscannor/Kilfenora/Michael Cusack’s/Tubber, Coolmeen/Kildysart and Killimer/Shannon Gaels winning competitions. “This trend would appear to be here to stay and with proper planning can be a successful model for those in difficulty with numbers,” he said.
Clondegad’s minor issue
CLONDEGAD’S Fintan Meaney questioned why his club’s request for a free weekend from minor championship action wasn’t granted. “It was the only request we made all year. We were in the intermediate final and we had three or four players on both panels and two played in the intermediate final. The final wasn’t played until three weeks later. It was our first time in a minor A semi-final,” he said.
Billy Archbold said the fixture was put down and wasn’t played.
Secretary Anne Hayes explained the board received four requests for postponements that week and all four were refused. Clondegad had made it known that the intermediate final was their priority so as that game was on Saturday, the minor was fixed for Sunday.
PRO Liam Woulfe said every request gets due respect Vice-chairman Joe Kelly also told the meeting Clondegad’s request was discussed in detail. “On more than one occasion, my advice was to fulfil the fixture,” he said.
The rules are the rules, says secretary
ONLY time will tell if the decision to dispense with competition at U-12 level was the correct course of action, Bord na nÓg football secretary Anne Hayes told delegates.
“The decision has caused serious debate during the year. Should it be done away with? Should it remain? Hopefully, Gaelic games will not suffer as a result of this decision,” she said.
“The decision as to whether the Bord na nÓgs should be amalgamated rests with the clubs of Clare. Whatever happens, we must embrace what furthers the betterment of underage football and hurling in this county.
“It is essential that clubs have delegates at meetings and that those delegates pass on the information to their clubs. I would also ask clubs to purchase a rulebook at the beginning of the year and read it. We had a few instances this year where team managers were unaware of the rules. Indeed, one club reported us to a higher authority for adhering to the rule regarding play-offs. The rules have to be adhered to and if clubs are unhappy with these rules then your club has the right to submit a motion to county convention asking to get it changed. Once it’s in Treoirí Oifigiúil, it must be adhered to,” she said.
The secretary said 37 disciplinary matters were dealt with during the year and fines totalling €€1,400 were imposed.
Listing the attendance record of the 35 clubs at the five board meetings, Ms Hayes pointed out that Clonlara, Clondegad and Coolmeen were not represented at any meeting.
The secretary raised concerns about the timing of the minor championship. “Both the minor football and hurling championships begin after the exams are over. The county minor hurling team is also in action during the summer months and added to this is that many clubs rely on minors to enable them to field at adult level. Our minor football championship ran into November this year and with college games in September and October, some minors were asked to play, in some instances, four games in one week which is really not acceptable.”
She added that a system similar to the senior championship could be looked at, with four teams in a group from which two would qualify for the quarter-finals.