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McNamara’s reign at an end?

Mike McNamara’s two-year reign as Clare senior hurling manager is set to come to an end.

While there has been no official comments from either side in the ongoing dispute involving the manager and the Clare senior hurling panel, The Clare Champion can reveal that his resignation is imminent.  
Almost a month after the November meeting of Clare GAA County Board directed that the manager should meet with the players, who held a vote of no confidence in him by a 26 to 1 majority, the two parties finally came face-to-face at the Woodstock Hotel, Ennis, last Sunday evening.
The meeting between McNamara and his fellow selectors Ollie Baker and Alan Cunningham and 25 members of the 2009 panel, chaired by county board chairman Michael O’Neill, lasted two and a half hours.
The players had started to gather from 4pm and remained on afterwards to review what had been discussed at the meeting with management. It is understood that they refused to back down on their position
Neither McNamara nor team captain Brian O’Connell were answering phonecalls this week
“Players and management have gone away to digest what was discussed at Sunday’s meeting. I am waiting to hear back from both sides,” board chairman Michael O’Neill told The ’Champion.
Speculation over who McNamara’s successor will be is rife with the names most frequently mentioned being Cyril Lyons and Ger ‘Sparrow’ O’Loughlin. Coincidentally, O’Loughlin served on the same selection committee in the early part of this decade when Lyons was the manager.
The names of Jim McInerney, a member of the 1995 All-Ireland winning panel and Tubber’s Pat O’Connor are also being linked to the position.
While Lyons has suggested that he is not in the running for the post at this time, he hasn’t ruled out getting involved at senior level again.
When John Minogue was introducing his fellow U-21 selector at last Friday’s medal presentation ceremony, he described him as someone who “has given a lot to Clare hurling and has a lot more to offer”.
Having managed Adare to three Limerick senior titles in a row, it is not surprising to hear that Ger O’Loughlin’s name also being linked with Limerick where there is also unrest. Many of the 2009
panel have “retired” in protest with manager Justin McCarthy’s decision to axe a number of players from the squad.


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