As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Clare Community Games, Ivan Smyth spoke with Emer Considine about what the Games mean to her
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Community Games in Clare, Ivan Smyth spoke to Emer Considine about what the Games mean to her, her husband competing in the same discipline at the Games and performing for royalty
Emer Considine’s passion for everything associated with the Community Games is evident when she lists off the events she competed in.
Camogie, athletics, basketball, tennis, and the board game draughts are just a few events she threw her hand to as Emer admits the goal was always reaching Mosney to compete in the Community Games National Finals
Her love of the Meath venue is evident throughout the interview.
“Mosney was special Getting your tracksuits and staying in the chalets was unique to Mosney.
“Those things really made it seem so important because for us it was. It’s where you wanted to be. Making the trip up and meeting people from other counties was another aspect of it. I’ve still got friends from the days of travelling there. I’ve always held a love of sport but the reason why I’d throw my hand at practically anything was to try and get to Mosney. I even stewarded there. It was a matter of doing anything to get there.”
Emer was raised in Sixmilebridge but now lives in Liscannor. One common word used throughout the interview is “community”.
She credits the work of volunteers with the Community Games in Sixmilebridge and within the county for developing that sense of community while allowing children to be more active and enjoy the fun that comes with competing at the Community Games.
“It is a community event and it’s all voluntary. There was a huge committee in the ‘Bridge that allowed us to go out and enjoy ourselves.
“It wouldn’t be possible for us to go to Mosney unless people volunteered behind the scenes.”
“Within Clare you have a great group of people who give their time willingly year in year out. Mary Phelan, Graham Meakins and his late wife Rose, Cecilia O’Sullivan, they all did so much to develop Community Games and that sense of community.”
The Community Games is something her family are passionate about. Her father Noel Murphy held a passion for hurling and helped co-ordinate the long puc competition while her mother Ann has previously worked as a steward at the Games.
Her sister Aideen has also represented her county at the Community Games having performed in the choir while her brother Declan also participated in events. Emer has also volunteered having helped co-ordinate basketball competitions.
“Gráinne Lynch worked alongside me with the basketball. Her father Joe was heavily involved with Community Games too and her son has also takes part in athletics at the Community Games.”
In early September 1988, Emer ran in the girls U-10 200m sprint in Mosney. She found out on her wedding day when she married former Clare footballer Brian Considine that he had competed in the boys version of this event on the same day 33 years ago.
“It’s funny because that’s something we only heard in the speeches on the night we were married. Neither of us knew before then.”
One of the events Emer took part in was the Variety event, which she describes as a “little bit of everything.” The event involved groups dancing, telling jokes and just about everything that could be fitted in within 15 minutes on stage. Dolores O’Loughlin managed the group and even made the costumes that the competitors wore.
The event allowed her to experience a new country and meet royalty in the process.
“We went to Denmark three times as we did an exchange with a gymnastic club over there and we got to perform for the Queen of Denmark (Margrethe II). We performed for Mary Robinson twice.
“The Community Games has given so much to me so I hope it can continue to be a success!”