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Kieran Keating, chairman of Clare GAA. Photograph by John Kelly

Senior demotions relegated to history following vote

18 teams will contest the 2022 Clare Senior Hurling Championship, it was decreed following a vote at a special meeting of the Clare GAA County Board in the West County Hotel this evening, reports Eoin Brennan.
Following an hour long debate on the relegation debacle that ranged from the prospect of no adult team in either football or hurling championship being relegated in 2021 to all four senior hurling relegation candidates (Clarecastle, Clooney-Quin, Crusheen and O’Callaghan’s Mills) potentially being demoted to intermediate if as, indicated, they all failed to show for any revised relegation play-offs, the clubs voted 18 to 16 in favour of scraping any trapdoor.
Stemming from a successful appeal from Crusheen to deem the round robin relegation group null and void, the onus was put back on the County Board to decide how to resolve this issue.
With the four teams that finished bottom of their respective groups on an equal footing once more, each one adamantly stressed that they would not partake in any further relegation process and instead offer amnesty to the four clubs in order to avoid any further division.
Those views were countered by both correspondence from clubs along with impassioned speakers from the floor that looked for the original two versus two play-off to stand and take place before next year’s County Senior Hurling Championship.
However, in order to resolve the issue, new chairman Kieran Keating called for motions from the floor, with O’Callaghan’s Mills delegate Robert Frost proposing that there would be 18 teams in next year’s championship and that the county board look for special dispensation from Croke Park to allow two teams to be relegated in 2022 and 2023.
Seconded by Clooney-Quin delegate John Skehan, the motion was narrowly passed by 18 to 16.

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