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Secretary Pat Fitzgerald with chairman Joe Cooney at the Clare GAA AGM in the Auburn Lodge, Ennis. Photograph by John Kelly.

No Change To Clare SFC Format For 2020 While April Championship Start Rejected By Clubs

There will be no change to the format of the Clare Senior Football championship for 2020.

A motion from the Kilrush Shamrocks club which had proposed to split the championship into two groups of six was withdrawn after O’Curry’s delegate Michael Curtin informed the structures meeting that their amalgamation with neighbours Naomh Eoin would be applying to take part in the senior championship this year. On foot of that, Kilrush delegate David O’Shea withdrew the motion for a new format.

It was also decided that the same structures surrounding the relegation process from the senior football championship would remain the same as last year. A motion from Kilmihil called for all teams to be treated the same, but a counter proposal from Cooraclare’s Joe Garry, who managed the Naomh Eoin-O’Curry’s side last year, argued that they should be exempt from relegation as there was nowhere to relegate them to. A vote was taken which ended up deadlocked, and chairman of Clare GAA Joe Cooney opted for the status quo to remain for the coming year.

A lengthy debate took place surrounding the start dates for the championships, and in particular the issues surrounding when the various grades should get underway. Four motions of a similar nature had been submitted on the topic, asking for the senior and intermediate championships to begin prior to the junior championships. Following a long discussion, it was decided in a vote that this should be the case.

Chairman Joe Cooney informed the meeting that the draft master fixtures plan for 2020 would be sent to clubs in the next 10 days, and another meeting will be held on February 4th when clubs will have their say on the proposed dates. A number of clubs voiced their feelings on the night that they would not be in favour of starting the championships in April as the gap between rounds would be far too great to manage.

The issue of U-17’s playing at the U-21 grade was also discussed following controversy surrounding the age grades last year, with Mr Cooney telling delegates that while they understood from Croke Park that U-17’s are eligible to play, it was yet to be confirmed in writing.

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