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New Clare GAA Review Group To Adopt A “Grass Roots Up” Approach

The group tasked with preparing a five year strategic plan for Clare GAA has outlined that they will be adopting a “grass roots up” approach in its workings.

Group member Mark O’Connell, CEO of Repucon Consulting, addressed club delegates at this weeks county board meeting to detail the process the group will be following.

He stated that they will be following a “structured approach” with an emphasis on ascertaining the views of club members and supporters of Clare GAA to identify their views on how the association should move forward over the coming years.

Surveys have been compiled which have been issued to club secretaries to feed back information with further surveys planned for the coming weeks for both club members and the public to have their say. He also outlined that development squad coaches, S&C coaches along with referees and past and current players will also be canvassed for their opinion on the process.

Once all that information has been collated, a focus hurling and football group will be engaged to help in streamlining the process in the next step.

Eire Óg delegate Rory Hickey wished the committee the best of luck in what he described as a “tough and onerous task”, and stated that he hopes they get all the cooperation that is needed from current and past officers.

Corofin’s Amborse Heagney stated his hopes that the committee would also look at developing the facilities at Clareabbey, which he described as a “wonderful field”. He said “Caherlohan will get most of the money but we should also look at Cusack Park, Clareabbey and Ballyline. Everyone cannot go to Caherlohan and for some, it is miles away. We should look at developing other places too”.

Central Council delegate and chair of the Caherlohan Development group Simon Moroney outlined their group have met four times online and have another scheduled for next week. He stated that their workings have been “seriously disrupted by Covid-19 because we wanted to get expert views on pitch remediation works, but they are hampered by travel restrictions”.

He confirmed that plans for a synthetic pitch are one of three main priorities being looked into by the group, along with pitch remediation works and improvements to the gym facilities at the venue.

He also confirmed that one of their committee was looking into issues surrounding the water quality at the venue. The Eire Óg clubman outlined that tests are being done “to get to the end of it and see if filtering can solve the water issue”.

Responding to the calls by the Corofin delegate to develop other Clare GAA owned venues, the former Munster Council CEO said that having so many assets under the remit of the board provided challenges which may need to be addressed.

“Ongoing maintenance is a serious challenge. We have no income streams to allow that without pain elsewhere, and that is the reality. Any examinations of the accounts over the last few years will tell you that. What is crystallizing in our minds is that maybe another committee, or the finance committee, could look at the range of facilities we have. We are relatively unique to most other counties in having a lot of property by comparison to most of them. The impact it will have on our ability to do the required maintenance on all of them is a significant concern of our committee and we have had significant discussions on it. The more you have over several locations is an issue. Somebody will have to make a a strategic decision about what we are going to have to do in relation to all the assets. The summarised view is that what we need primarily is a good county grounds and we have that. The recent jobs have been excellent, it is in excellent condition and comparable with any of them. We also need a Centre of Excellence with multiple pitches including at least one synthetic” he noted.

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